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Elijah of Buxton

by Christopher Paul Curtis

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prejudice & racism, 19th century
list price: $26.99
edition:Hardcover
published: 2007
ISBN:9780439023443
publisher: Scholastic Inc
Awards
  • Commended, Today's Parent 100 best Canadian kids' books of all time
  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Award (BC Young Readers' Choice)
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award (Alberta Children's Choice)
  • Short-listed, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award
  • Short-listed, OLA Red Maple Award, Fiction
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Winner, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award
  • Winner, Coretta Scott King Award (Author)
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Commended, Newbery Honor Book
  • Commended, Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children
  • Winner, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
  • Commended, Notable Books for a Global Society, International Reading Association (IRA)
  • Commended, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
  • Commended, White Ravens Selection (International Youth Library)
  • Long-listed, Governor General's Award for Children's Literature - Text
  • Commended, New York Public Library 100 Best Books for Reading and Sharing
  • Commended, Booklist Editors' Choices
  • Short-listed, IODE Canada Violet Downey Award
  • Commended, Book Links Lasting Connections
  • Commended, Kirkus Best Books
  • Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year
  • Commended, Chicago Public Library - Children's Books for Year-Round Gift Giving
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Description

Master storyteller Christopher Paul Curtis lends his trademark humour and vibrant narrative style to the gripping tale of eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman. The first child born into freedom in Buxton, Ontario, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit, Elijah is best known in his hometown as the boy who threw up on Frederick Douglass. Not on purpose, of course he was just a baby then! But things change when a former slave calling himself the Right Reverend Zephariah W. Connerly the Third steals money from Elijah's friend Mr. Leroy, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in the South. Elijah joins Mr. Leroy on a dangerous journey to America in pursuit of the disreputable preacher, and he discovers firsthand the unimaginable horrors of the life his parents have fled a life from which he'll always be free, if he can find the courage to get back home. Exciting yet evocative, heart-wrenching yet hilarious, Elijah of Buxton is Christopher Paul Curtis at his very best and it's an unforgettable testament to the power of hope.

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Contributor notes

Christopher Paul Curtis was born in Flint, Michigan. After high school graduation, he worked on the assembly line of the Fisher Body Plant for 13 years, until Christopher took a year off work to write his first novel.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 won a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor book citation in 1996. Bud, Not Buddy received the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award in 2000. His most recent book, Elijah of Buxton, has garnered multiple awards, including a Newbery Honor, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the TD Children's Literature Book Award and the CLA Book of the Year, and was a finalist in the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature.

"This novel came to me in a way that was far different than any other," says Curtis. "From the word 'go' Elijah and I became close friends. When I'd go to the library to write, it was as if he were anxiously waiting for me, waiting to tell about his life, his worries, his adventures."

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Editorial Review

"As in his previous novels, Curtis is a master at balancing the serious and the lighthearted... His latest book is another natural award candidate and makes an excellent case, in a story positively brimming with both truth and sense, for the ability of historical fiction to bring history to life." -- New York Times Book Review

"Here's a pre-Civil War history lesson wrapped in an adventure story." -- USA Today

"Curtis has created a vivid setting that is easy to imagine. When the action begins, you'll want to race through the pages." -- The Washington Post

* "This is Curtis's best novel yet, and no doubt many readers, young and old, will finish and say, 'This is one of the best books I have ever read.'" -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Many readers drawn to the book by humor will find themselves, at times, on the edges of their seats in suspense and, at others, moved to tears. A fine, original novel from a gifted storyteller." -- Booklist, starred review

* "This arresting, surprising novel of reluctant heroism is about nothing less than nobility." -- The Horn Book, starred review

* "Curtis's talent for dealing with painful periods of history with grace and sensitivity is as strong as ever." -- School Library Journal, starred review

"Elijah of Buxton is sure to become a classic -- for readers of all ages." -- BookPage

"The Newbery Medal judges should just go ahead and put Christopher Paul Curtis on speed dial." -- The Christian Science Monitor

"Curtis is a genius storyteller..." -- Detroit Free Press

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About the Author

Christopher Paul Curtis

Christopher Paul Curtis was awarded both a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor for his debut book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963, and won the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award for his second book, Bud, Not Buddy. Mr. Curtis is also the author of the Golden Kite Award-winning Bucking the Sarge, as well as Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission, and the Newbery Honor book Elijah of Buxton.
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