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Eleven-year-old Elijah lives in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves near the American border. He's the first child in town to be born free, and he ought to be famous just for that. Unfortunately, all that most people see is a "fra-gile" boy who's scared of snakes and talks too much. But everything changes when a...
Eleven-year-old Elijah lives in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves near the American border. He's the first child in town to be born free, and he ought to be famous just for that. Unfortunately, all that most people see is a "fra-gile" boy who's scared of snakes and talks too much. But everything changes when a former slave steals money from Elijah's friend, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in the South. Now it's up to Elijah to track down the thief--and his dangerous journey just might make a hero out of him, if only he can find the courage to get back home.
Winner of the 2008 Coretta Scott King Author Award
Elijah Freeman, 11, has two claims to fame. He was the first child "born free" to former slaves in Buxton, a (real) haven established in 1849 in Canada by an American abolitionist. The rest of his celebrity, Elijah reports in his folksy vernacular, stems from a "tragical" event. When Frederick Douglass, the "famousest, smartest man who ever escaped from slavery," visited Buxton, he held baby Elijah aloft, declaring him a "shining bacon of light and hope," tossing him up and down until the jostled baby threw up-on Douglass. The arresting historical setting and physical comedy signal classic Curtis (Bud, Not Buddy), but while Elijah's boyish voice represents the Newbery Medalist at his finest, the story unspools at so leisurely a pace that kids might easily lose interest. Readers meet Buxton's citizens, people who have known great cruelty and yet are uncommonly polite and welcoming to strangers. Humor abounds: Elijah's best friend puzzles over the phrase "familiarity breeds contempt" and decides it's about sexual reproduction. There's a rapscallion of a villain in the Right Reverend Deacon Doctor Zephariah Connerly the Third, a smart-talking preacher no one trusts, and, after 200 pages, a riveting plot: Zephariah makes off with a fortune meant to buy a family of slaves their freedom. Curtis brings the story full-circle, demonstrating how Elijah the "fra-gile" child has become sturdy, capable of stealing across the border in pursuit of the crooked preacher, and strong enough to withstand a confrontation with the horrors of slavery. The powerful ending is violent and unsettling, yet also manages to be uplifting. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Gr 4-8- Set in 1860, 11-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway and freed slaves, in Christopher Paul Curtis's Newbery Honor book (Scholastic, 2007). When money that Elijah's friend has been saving to send to America to buy his family's freedom is stolen, Elijah crosses the border into Detroit on a dangerous mission to help recover it. Narrated by Elijah, the horrors of slavery are revealed. This engrossing tale is read by Mirron Willis who effortlessly varies his rich, textured voice to make each character unique. This story will captivate listeners.-Karen T. Bilton, Mary Jacobs Memorial Library, Rocky Hill, NJ
Posted April 30, 2012
Posted December 6, 2011
Newbery winning author Christopher Paul Curtis has written 2 of my favorite historical novels, "Bud, Not Buddy" and now "Elijah of Buxton". I'd recommend both these books to anyone, but especially to kids aged 8-12.Elijah is a free-born boy growing up in the real town of Buxton, Ontario, a place where former slaves lived in relative safety before the Civil War. When a thief steals the money intended to buy a slave family's freedom, Elijah sets off in pursuit to get the money back. On his journey, he must avoid bounty hunters looking for runaway slaves to take back to the US. Determined to do the right thing, Elijah is optimistic, resourseful, and very brave.
8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 9, 2009
In the Newberry Medal winning story, Elijah of Buxton, Elijah is a cowardly eleven year old living in a free settlement in Canada. He is the first child born free in the settlement of Buxton. During the celebration Elijah Freeman threw up on Fredrick Douglas, who was considered to be the smartest man who had ever escaped from slavery. Elijah is an excellent worker and fisher, but is very afraid of snakes and other simple things in life. The preacher, who carries around a pistol everywhere he goes, says that his talent of fishing is a true gift from above. When Mr. Leroy, who is a friend of Elijah's, earns enough money to buy his family out of slavery, the preacher, who was thought to have been a friend, steals his money. Elijah sets off and crosses the American border into Michigan to hunt the preacher down and get Mr. Leroy's money back.
Although the story progresses slowly, and younger readers may become bored very quickly, Christopher Paul Curtis does a great job at introducing almost everybody in Buxton. He makes you feel like your right in the story, experiencing everything the main character (Elijah) goes through and all of his adventures. This was the best book I have ever read, thank you Christopher Paul Curtis.
6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 22, 2008
Elijah of Buxton is a hero for youngsters of all ages. Elijah of Buxton is laugh out loud humor and powerful history combined in one book. Christopher Paul Curtis has written another powerful story to make us understand history clearer. Mr. Curtis is able to bring the characters to life with each page. You can feel the joy and pain the slaves, freedmen and former slaves feel in the style Mr. Curtis writes. I recommend this book to all teachers for the classroom, history buffs and avid readers.
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Posted May 10, 2013
Posted April 2, 2013
Posted May 24, 2013
Very intresting book!! I love that this book has cliff hangers and lots of suspense that makes you not want to put the book down!! I highly reccomend buying this book!!
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Posted January 7, 2013
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Posted February 5, 2013
I love this it is so great. Also very adventourus or however you spell that I don't have a grammer check! So dont push me Im tired so exuse my spelling.
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Posted April 24, 2015
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Posted April 22, 2015
Posted February 4, 2015
I read this book in 6th grade and have been looking for it since then. I think all ages should read this book because it has so much detail and is just a good book overall. This book is a good reminder of what happend to the slaves before and after they were free and able to have more freedom. F you want a good read about former slaves and want o get a cheap book then this is the book to get. Like i said before, this book has so much detail and pulled me in and made me feel like i was there with the characters. But if you want more good books to read, create a profile on Howrse and friend jamie45 and say more books please and i will recomend som good reads.
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THANKS FOR READING THIS REVIEW HOPE IT HELPED!!! : - )
Posted December 23, 2014
Posted May 19, 2014