Featured books by Christopher Paul Curtis

Christopher Paul Curtis writes books that linger in the minds and hearts of readers. He tackles tough topics with humor and verve, vividly presenting memorable characters in carefully crafted settings.

Bucking the Sarge

By: Christopher Paul Curtis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction

Fifteen-year-old Luther's mother, The Sarge, rules an empire of halfway houses and slums. Luther himself is a much more ordinary guy, though he is caught between being a typical teen and being the Sarge's son. Luther's peculiar problems are resolved in a way that is sure to satisfy readers.

Bud, Not Buddy

By: Christopher Paul Curtis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

Young Bud runs away from the latest and worst foster home in search of his father. Though he doesn't find his father, Bud (not Buddy) does find family, music, and more on his long trek across Michigan during the Depression. In this Newbery-winning novel, both humor and Bud's naive voice make difficult issues accessible to younger readers. (2000 Newbery Medal Winner)

Elijah of Buxton

By: Christopher Paul Curtis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

Eleven-year-old Elijah was born in Buxton, a Canadian settlement that was the final stop on the Underground Railroad. The free child of slaves, Elijah reveals his growing awareness of the horrors of slavery on his journey to young adulthood. Vivid characters and a strong sense of place create both humor and horror in this moving novel.

Mr. Chickee's Funny Money

By: Christopher Paul Curtis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Could it be real? A quadrillion dollar bill? In this funny, fast-paced tall tale, nine-year-old Steven, helper and friend of his blind neighbor, Mr. Chickee, solves the mystery of this strange money.

Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission

By: Christopher Paul Curtis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction, Mystery

The Flint Future Detectives are back for another wacky adventure in which the dog owned by Steven's friend, Russell (first introduced in Mr. Chickee's Funny Money) inadvertently launches an out-of-this-world series of events. Readers will see the satire in this improbable, funny, and fast-reading novel.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963

By: Christopher Paul Curtis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

Fourth-grader Kenny goes with his older brother Byron and his parents on a road trip from Flint, Michigan to the South, where Byron will be spending the summer with his grandparents, away from the temptations of city life. Curtis mixes humor with the volatility of the South in the summer of 1963.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963: 25th Anniversary Edition

By: Christopher Paul Curtis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

The Watson family travels to Birmingham and gets caught up in the devastating events of 1963. For its 25th anniversary, this edition has a cover that resembles a Green Book, the guide for African Americans traveling in the South. The award-winning novel is as fresh today as when it was first published.

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"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. " — Mem Fox