I’ve been thinking, since I last exhorted everyone to buy books, and since a gaggle of publishers recently gifted me with a pile o’ book swag (see recent best book fair ever’ post) , AND since now Simon and Schuster, as well as Random House, are supposedly laying off a crowd of people, I thought I would do my part to an industry I love by recommending as many books as I could for purchase between now and Christmas.
Today’s book? ’07 Newbery Honor winner Elijah of Buxton </a>by Christopher Paul Curtis, the author of The Watson’s Go to Birmingham 1963 (Newberry Honor) and Bud, Not Buddy (Newbery WINNER). Buxton is a settlement of free slaves up in Canada, just north of Detroit, in the 19th century and Elijah, the main character, is the first baby born there. A tweenager in this book, he’s by turns funny and touching as are a whole host of other characters. Frederick Douglass even makes an appearance–sort of, but I can’t tell you how, you have to read the book.
I just paid for it in hardcover but just found out that Scholastic is also offering it in paperback, so it must be available that way, somehow. Anyway, it’s the perfect gift for the tweener or teenager in your life, or even the adult who likes these kinds of stories, funny, sweet, with some history thrown effortlessly. Word has it that Christopher Paul Curtis was once a line worker at a factory in Detroit and this fact impresses me no end. Talk about life experience. Probably one of the reason’s why the guy’s such a wonderful writer.
So Elijah of Buxton. My first recommendation. Buy it, y’all, before they make it into a movie, which you know won’t be as good as the book.
PS Don’t forget about the giveaway. Post between now and Dec. 15 will be entered in a draw.