Read Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis Online


Newbery Medalist and CSK Award winner Christopher Paul Curtis's debut middle-grade/young-YA novel for Scholastic features his trademark humor, compelling storytelling, and unique narrative voice.Eleven-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit. He's best known for having made a mNewbery Medalist and CSK Award winner Christopher Paul Curtis's debut middle-grade/young-YA novel for Scholastic features his trademark humor, compelling storytelling, and unique narrative voice.Eleven-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit. He's best known for having made a memorable impression on Frederick Douglass, but that 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. Elijah embarks on a dangerous journey to America in pursuit of the thief and discovers firsthand the unimaginable horrors of the life his parents fled--a life from which he’ll always be free, if he can find the courage to get back home....

Title : Elijah of Buxton
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780439023443
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 341 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Elijah of Buxton Reviews

  • Kyle Kimmal
    2019-03-20 08:40

    The boys picked to read Elijah of Buxton for this month’s discussion. The librarian asked me how I tricked them into reading an historical novel. I told her it was my wit and good looks. I think it has more to do with the cover. Anyhow, some have loved it, and some have struggled. Third graders are so used to being told to make sure words are spelled correctly that when they read a novel with dialect that is different it takes them out of their comfort zone.On Friday during Independent Reading I look up because I hear Chris say “oh my god, oh my god, WOW!” He was almost to the end of the book. He gets up goes to his friends and rereads them the part. They begin to discuss the book. So much for the discussion this Wednesday, and Independent Reading. I think the guys have discussed the book more then any adult book club. There are times when we see and hear things that tell us this is why I put up with No Child Left Untested and the CSAP.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-07 06:43

    Despite that I liked Curtis’s lively, colorful, convincing portrayal of everyday life in Buxton, I felt that Elijah of Buxton had a slow start. However, towards the middle of the novel, when Curtis began weaving individual Buxton residents' escape and slave stories into Elijah’s daily experiences, I slowly came to love the book. As I was reading the novel on a CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) bus, I found myself tearing up, suddenly struck by what Elijah and his mother would call being “fra-gile-ness,” while I was reading the scene in which the new escaped family arrives in Buxton. I loved the way in which Curtis incorporated the stories of many of Buxton’s free blacks to develop believable, human characters, show the myriad, torturous paths to freedom (or back to slavery), and the enduring pain that continues to linger under the surface of free Buxton. By beautifully developing his characters and binding them to readers' hearts, Curtis manages to convey the full sadness and horror of the Buxton residents' experiences without extreme graphical violence or an overly heavy story. We, as well as Elijah, are reminded that “people that used to be slaves are toting things ‘round with ‘em that caint be seen with your regular eyes….They’ve seen people acting in ways that caint help but leave scars and peculiarities” (101). By extension, these “scars and peculiarities” continue to lay beneath many of societies' present ills. We as a society oftentimes unknowingly hurt and offend, deserving the same rebuke that Mr. Leroy gives Elijah for using the word “nigger”: “Ya’ll’s ignorant in a whole slew of ways. Y’all ain’t been told your whole life what you is" (99).In my opinion, Elijah of Buxton is largely the story of the title character coming of age through learning about his heritage, not necessarily in the classroom with Mr. Travis, but through hearing the stories of his community and experiencing the legacy of fear and violence, and ultimately, joy in freedom and H(h)ope. Curtis sprinkles others’ stories into the novel, and I thought to myself while reading the novel, “The title of the novel is *Elijah* of Buxton, so why does it seem like so little time is spent on the narrative episodes of his experience?” It occurred to me while writing this, that, simply, Elijah’s story is the story of the community of Buxton and vice versa. As alluded to earlier, Elijah’s story is our story, the story of individuals making sense of the world around them, of learning and becoming “growned up,” which I think that Curtis conveys wonderfully through Elijah’s comically confused, sometimes naïve observations of the world around him. With this method, Curtis captures the feeling of disconnect and confusion we oftentimes feel when something is beyond the scope of our understanding and experience. This is one of the reasons why I think that this novel would be good for educating children, as well as adults, who are largely unfamiliar with the broad repercussions of slavery, or who cannot associate the legacy of slavery with a human face with which to empathize. Other things that I admired about this novel were its uncompromising immediacy, realism, and complexity. Although it may seem far-fetched that Elijah encountered Frederick Douglass or talked to captured slaves, Curtis recounts realistic stories about slavery through believable and well-developed characters. The stories about slavery, escape, and life in Buxton do not contain shocking graphical descriptions, yet they retain a strong emotional punch.

  • Julie
    2019-03-15 05:53

    I laughed and cried. Elijah became flesh and blood to me, and of course, I learned a little more about slavery and what it means to be free. It took a page or two for me to get accustomed to the dialect. I kept waiting for the library copy to come in, but went ahead and bought it. It's one worth owning.

  • Luann
    2019-03-11 00:58

    I had a hard time deciding what to rate this book. It isn't very action-packed or exciting. In fact, the events from the book description don't take place until the last 100 pages of the story. For the first 240 pages I felt like I was waiting for the real story to begin.Also, the heavy use of dialect makes the reading a bit tedious. I hope I never have to read "gunn" used for "going to" or even "gonna" again!On the other hand, I was fascinated with the setting. I learned a lot I hadn't known before about the settlement of runaway slaves called Buxton in Canada.I also really liked the characters, especially Elijah and his wonderful sense of humor. He makes a great narrator. A favorite "Elijah" quote that made me chuckle: "All the growned folks that hadn't never learnt to read nor write whilst they were 'slaved in America had to take lessons at the school house at night. Between cooking and cleaning and gardening and sewing and knitting and working the fields at harvesttime and helping out at the chopping bees and the raising bees and tending to her sheep and shearing 'em and gathering wool and carding it and spinning it, Ma had been lazy and was slacking off on her school lessons and they waren't sticking particular good."In fact, I found myself marking the place of several great quotes:Wisdom from Elijah's neighbor: "Mr. Leroy kept chomping and said, 'Fish eating's like anything else in life, Elijah. If you go at it 'specting something bad to happen, all you gunn do is draw that bad thing to you. You caint be timid 'bout nothing you do, you got to go at it like you 'specting good things to come out of it. If I's to worry 'bout bones choking me, it'd happen every time I et fish. Ain't nothing further from my mind.' Fish bones snapped in his mouth like dry twigs."Wisdom from Elijah's Ma when comforting a neighbor who just found out that her husband had died: "Well, the body don't never endure, do it? But I hopes . . . naw, I knows that something inside all of us be so strong it caint be stopped. It fly on forever."Wisdom from Elijah's Pa when they found out Mr. Leroy was conned out of a huge sum of money that was meant to buy his family out of slavery: "Let this here be a lesson to you. You caint let your wantings blind you to what's the truth. You always got to look at things the way they is, not the way you wish 'em to be."I can see why Elijah of Buxton won so many awards, and I'm definitely not sorry I read it! But because of the issues mentioned above, I really can't give it more than three stars.

  • Barbara
    2019-03-25 06:32

    A story set in a Canadian settlement of runaway slaves. Elijah was the first child born there, thus the first person born free, living in the community. The book at 340 pages is a bit long for this kind of novel and though there are many small incidents, the major incident in the book doesn't happen until the last quarter of the book. I was waiting for something to happen. I suppose it's a deliberately different construction for a young adult novel. Because of its length, I probably won't put this on the reading list for my students in my Social Studies Methods class as they have so much reading to do.

  • Kenya (ReviewsMayVary)
    2019-03-20 01:49

    I loved this story of Eli, the first free-born black child of Buxton, a black settlement in Canada. He gets into some little trouble and then some big trouble. The audiobook is a great read. This is probably considered middle grade.

  • Phil Jensen
    2019-03-18 06:30

    Oh, Christopher Paul Curtis, you had me at this description of hoopsnake poisoning:You swell so much that after exactly seven and a half days the pressure in your body becomes too great and you explode like an overheated steam boiler! In seconds your stomach and your lungs and your other entrails are flung around you for milesThen Curtis seals the deal with a two page long section combining my two favorite things: Frederick Douglass and vomit jokes.Clearly, Curtis has upped his comedy game. He has also upped the dramatic stakes. It seems impossible that anything could be more tragic than the final chapters of The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, but this book achieves it. The main character is a brilliant proxy for the reader- a person connected to slavery who has to learn about it through a series of painful revelations. Curtis' style is a masterful ode to Mark Twain. He skillfully evokes Twain's irony, fascination with lies, exaggerations, use of dialect, and discursive narrative structure. Elijah of Buxton should be required reading for anyone attempting The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.This book also contains a section on the N word that explains it better than I've seen anywhere else. This section should also be required reading.Newbery Comments2008 was a controversial year at the Newberys. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village was a book nobody asked for and it continues to gather dust to this day. On the other hand, Feathers and The Wednesday Wars were both quality books that connected with readers. They are both still popular today. However, I argue that Elijah of Buxton is distinguished in ways that surpass any of the other contenders. Tragically, though, it is often forgotten or overshadowed by Curtis' other books. This is a masterpiece waiting to be rediscovered.

  • jo
    2019-03-03 04:55

    It's going to be hard for me to write about this book without resorting to blatant gushing, but I'll do my best. Elijah of Buxton is one of those books that kept popping up on all the lists this year. When it won both the Newbery Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award, I thought I'd better pick it up and give it a shot.Now I had read Christopher Paul Curtis' Bud, Not Buddy when it won the Newbery Medal in 2000, and I liked it quite a bit, but I have to admit I wasn't completely blown away. I didn't rush out and recommend it to everyone I knew. Elijah of Buxton is another story.The book is set in the mid 1860's in Buxton, Canada--one of the early Black settlements of escaped slaves from the United States. Elijah, the book's fictional hero, is the first free-born child in the settlement.In some ways, it's a basic coming of age story. Elijah is what his mother calls a "fra-gile" child, and he is trying very hard to learn how to become more grown-up. In other ways, it's an amazing glimpse into what life on one of these settlements could have been like. There is a poignant juxtaposition between the young children in the settlement who've known nothing but freedom, and the adults, who have each risked everything to be free and carry heavy wounds and scars that the children can't begin to comprehend.Mostly what I loved about this book, besides the beautiful writing and engaging story, is that it is ultimately a story about community. It is about how people can come together to try to make the world a better place, not just for themselves, but for one another. When Elijah, who goes to school and can read and write, is asked to read a letter to Mrs. Holton, informing her that her husband has been whipped to death by a slave owner, the women of the settlement go with him:"Mostly I think I didn't bawl 'cause once Ma and them women bunched up 'round Mrs. Holton with their watching, waiting eyes and hands, it felt like a whole slew of soldiers was ringing that parlour with swords drawed and waren't no sorrow so powerful it could bust through."I'll warn you, I bawled. I cried straight through the entire last three chapters. But it's not just sadness that makes you cry, it's the redemption and grace and joy mixed up in the sadness that is so affecting. This is a beautiful story and I know it won all the "literature for young people" awards, but I would recommend it to adults as well. A good story's a good story, after all.You can visit the real Buxton Museum website here.You can read about Christopher Paul Curtis' R.E.A.D Program and Kenya School Project here.

  • Jonathan Peto
    2019-03-24 00:55

    Elijah is free born, as are some of the other children around him, but the adults in his community, Buxton, are former slaves. Other than that, except for a few details here and there, such as when some newly escaped slaves arrive, the story is mainly a pleasant character study with an interesting, folksy, historical setting, though that is done so well that the settlement of Buxton feels like a character too. Elijah fishes, takes care of horses, attends school, visits a traveling vaudeville show without his parent’s knowledge, etc. I do not know if a ten or eleven year old would keep reading it, especially because of the dialect, but I read it aloud and my son did not protest. The last hundred or so pages is where the action really begins. Most of the tension before that is due to a man who calls himself the Preacher, but the Preacher does something unforgivable. That results in Elijah’s first trip across the border (Buxton is in Canada). Elijah knows something about slavery in the US from the stories of the adults in his community, but he is not at all prepared for its reality, and after all those peaceful, rustic pages neither is the reader, so Elijah’s first glimpse of slavery in the US was as horrific for me as it was for him, a very, very effective ending. Although I definitely felt that ending was worth the wait, the slow buildup did undercut the book’s overall power.

  • Jay
    2019-03-11 07:41

    I have nothing but excellent things to say about this book, which is top notch historical-fiction for all ages covering the final era of American slavery. This was one of the books I recently read and discussed with my 11 year old daughter for educational progress. When she selected it, I thought that it would be a good lead in for the Autobiography of Frederick Douglass (which is our next joint read). What we got out of this read instead was so much more than preparation! This is such a solid book that I recommend it for every American youth.The story of Elijah and the Buxton Colony, actually known as the Elgin Colony, is a symbolic coming of age story of a young boy born free in Canada during the last decade of American slavery. The author skillfully eases the reader into the brutal environment of existing slavery to the South (Buxton is not far from Michigan...with only the Canadian-U.S. border between them which, due to laws, determined freedom or bondage for people of color. The opening chapters, which familiarize the reader with characters and colony life, ease into the bigger scenario of slavery so artfully, it is almost as if the author is puposely symbolizing the understanding process of a child growing up and gradually noticing the evils of the world.The author covers the issue of slavery without really candy-coating the atrocities and horrors, but his writing style allows the intellectual understanding and maturity level of the reader decipher how vivid the picture develops, and there are several references that mainly students of history will pick up on. One such subtle issue was described in a memory by Elijah's mother from when she was a young American slave girl whose mistress had taken her north to Michigan where she was able to see Canada across the river (which looked the exact same as America, but was called the land of the free). When she told her mother, her mother became irate and beat her for not making a run for Canada and screamed at her "Don't you know what horrors they got in store for you"? This was clearly a subtle reference to the trend of slave owners who often raped their female slaves. The historical references in the story are really strong. The author makes references of the abolitionists, John Brown and Frederick Douglass, and the following issues were skillfully touched on in this historical-fiction story: 1) The beating of a slave to death 2) The Underground Railroad 3) Separation of slave families and the attempts to buy family members out of slavery in America 4) Slavers coming North into Canada 5) The use of the N word by a free born.One of the most symbolic coming of age elements of the book is how the children played a game called "slavers and abolitionist".Great read! Highly recommended!

  • babyhippoface
    2019-03-23 05:48

    Okay, I'm sold. It took me months to finally getting around to reading this one, and that's too bad, because I could have been recommending it all this time. It's fantastic.Elijah Freeman was the first child born free in the Buxton settlement of Canada. His life is made up of family, school, chores, and fishing, and although he has heard stories about life in captivity from the former slaves around him, he leads a very different life. When an unscrupulous, self-proclaimed preacher makes off with the money a man was going to use to buy his wife and children out of slavery, Elijah is taken to America to help find the thief. Award-winner Curtis has crafted a masterpiece for children. In situations that range from hilarious to heart-breaking, Elijah and his Buxton friends and family are incredibly real. They display strength, integrity, loyalty, humor, and extreme sacrifice. Hearing about slavery and seeing it for himself are two very different things for Elijah. Readers will feel like they are standing along-side him as he sees for himself the horrors of slavery and struggles to reconcile what he witnesses with his sense of justice. Personally, I wanted to grab the mystery pistol myself and get the job done. I listened to the audiobook, and Mirron Willis has done an absolutely outstanding job. While it's 8 CDs, and certainly takes much longer to listen to it than it does to read it, I think it's worth it just to hear Willis' narration. He doesn't just read this, he acts it. That's why it's so long--he doesn't rush through; he says every single line like it's coming from a real person feeling every word right from the bottom of his soul. You know when you're talking out loud to your CD player that this is a powerful piece of literature.I laughed out loud, and I was moved to tears more than once. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. Read it. Today.(But I still hate this cover. Elijah looks like one of Willie Tyler's ventriloquist dummies. The new, paperback cover is MUCH better.)

  • Bob Redmond
    2019-02-24 08:30

    Curtis, in Newberry-Award winning style, tells the story of a young boy growing up in the (historically real) all-black community of Buxton, Ontario, Canada, in 1859. The book is completely absorbing, and one forgets immediately that this is a book for young adults or grade schoolers. Curtis writes with such a clarity of purpose and faithfulness to his story that there's no question of whether the book is merely edifying.Elijah, the first boy born in the community, is 11 when this story begins. Like TOM SAWYER, this book begins with early chapters of barefoot country life, eccentric neighbors, boyish daydreaming and pranks. And also like SAWYER, this book culminates in a truly harrowing drama in which the world of adults (and slavery) finally reaches Elijah.I'm tempted to say that the world of slavery reaches -- like MORDOR (Tolkien's wellspring of evil) -- finally to touch Elijah. I began this review wanting to mention Edward Jones THE KNOWN WORLD, to which this book merits a comparison (that's saying something, since Jones won the Pulitzer). But it's TOM SAWYER and THE LORD OF THE RINGS that also demand comparison, since Curtis has managed to write an adventure story about slavery. It's hard to suggest that the book is as good as HUCK FINN, but it's the inevitable conclusion: this is one hell of a book.WHY I READ THIS BOOK: I read a review of the book in 2007, or saw it on a list of top YA authors, or ran across it while browsing in the bookstore. Or all three. It stayed in my box of books to read, and finally I got to it.

  • Audra
    2019-02-24 04:43

    Elijah of Buxton is one of the best young adults novels I have ever read. The author does an excellent job of weaving historical facts into the story, giving readers a raw glimpse into what those that managed to escape the cruel grip of slavery must have felt. It gives you a new appreciation for the resiliency of Black people who are still standing despite all the terrorism we have endured. This book made me laugh and cry. I felt so many emotions ranging from contemplative to joy to utter despair. Elijah of Buxton masterfully told the story of a handful of people who were brave enough to escaped north to Canada, "the land of milk and honey." But freedom did not offer ease for their lives. They had to deal with the scars of slavery--emotional, physical and mental--as they worked hard to build new lives for themselves as free people, all while wondering and worrying about the family members they left behind in chains in America. Elijah, having never been a slave, heard the stories of slavery from his parents, but never truly understood the horrors of it until he was forced to venture out of Canada and into Michigan, where he met a family of slaves. He always wanted to be seen as "growned-up." Well, I think that's exactly how they saw him when returned from Michigan with some very precious cargo.I'm already reading the sequel, The Madman of Piney Woods.

  • Amanda Behrends
    2019-03-16 04:42

    Summary - Elijah of Buxton tells the story of Elijah, the first free-born child born in the settlement of former slaves in Buxton Canada. The story details the experiences Elijah has as he comes of age in the settlement and learns about the lives of his parents and the other former slaves in the settlement. Curriculum Connection - I would use this book in connection with United States Studies until 1865, particularly SOL USI.8 and USI.9 to help the students better understand and connect with the lives of slaves in the American south, their desire to be free, and their lives after they were able to escape to freedom. Personal Reaction - Overall I liked this book. I think the author did a great job with character development. I found myself really interested in the lives of the characters and interested in what was happening to them. The drawback for me was that it felt like the plot development was lacking. Most of the book felt like stand alone short stories that helped develop the characters but didn't really get to what the book was all about.Assessment of Visual Appeal - As this is a juvenile book there are no illustrations at all. However the cover art is bright and attractive. The illustration of Elijah drew me in and made me want to know more about him. Intended Audience - This book is intended for a juvenile audience. I would place the book between a 4th and 6th grade level and would think it would mainly appeal to boys.

  • Eugenia
    2019-03-19 05:49

    Booklist review: *Starred Review* After his mother rebukes him for screaming that hoop snakes have invaded Buxton, gullible 11-year-old Elijah confesses to readers that "there ain't nothing in the world she wants more than for me to quit being so doggone fra-gile." Inexperienced and prone to mistakes, yet kind, courageous, and understanding, Elijah has the distinction of being the first child born in the Buxton Settlement, which was founded in Ontario in 1849 as a haven for former slaves. Narrator Elijah tells an episodic story that builds a broad picture of Buxton's residents before plunging into the dramatic events that take him out of Buxton and, quite possibly, out of his depth. In the author's note, Curtis relates the difficulty of tackling the subject of slavery realistically through a child's first-person perspective. Here, readers learn about conditions in slavery at a distance, though the horrors become increasingly apparent. Among the more memorable scenes are those in which Elijah meets escaped slaves—first, those who have made it to Canada and, later, those who have been retaken by slave catchers. Central to the story, these scenes show an emotional range and a subtlety unusual in children's fiction. Many readers drawn to the book by humor will find themselves at times on the edges of their seats in suspense and, at other moments, moved to tears. A fine, original novel from a gifted storyteller. Phelan, Carolyn

  • Samuel Graham
    2019-03-13 08:49

    *Listened to audiobook version performed by Mirron Willis.Elijah is an 11-year-old black boy in 1849. He is the first free-born person in the settlement of Buxton, Canada, where many runaway slaves escaped to freedom just across the U.S.-Canada border from Detroit, Michigan. Elijah is often identified as a “fra-gile” boy, which would be an interesting vocabulary study with students as the word takes on a more and more nuanced meaning as we get to know him. Elijah is sensitive as he empathizes with the struggles of his neighbors and family. He strives to be grown, but it is not easy. The ultimate test of his fragility comes when his friend Mr. Leroy’s fortune is stolen in an effort to purchase his wife and children from their slave owner. Elijah must find out if he is grown enough to help Mr. Leroy retrieve the money and free his family.Curtis provides many stories within the larger story that give a glimpse into life for slaves and former slaves in the 19th century. Curtis says in his author's note that many of his stories are based on documented accounts, though the characters and some details are embellished, of course. I would be confident in using this text as part of a study of slavery for middle grades and up.*2008 Newbery Honor Book

  • Sunny
    2019-03-08 00:52

    I wish I had a book club to discuss this book with. Spencer, I think, has opted not to read this one. Darn. So, if anyone chooses to read this book I'd love to talk about it with you! The whole first part of the book wasn't very interesting. I really had no desire to keep reading it. I could've put it down and forgotten all about it - except that I kept thinking, "This won the NEWBERRY AWARD! Come on! This has to get good at some point!" Finally, towards the end it does get really good. But i think the author could have revised it and cut the book down significantly. There are many really good points it does bring up through out the book. I like that. However, it does mention suicide. I did not like and think it was appropriate for a Newberry Award winning book - I don't care what people and society say, or even that it is a part what slaves had to deal with, children should not be reading about that. It leaves an impression on innocent children.Overall, the last part of the book does bring everything together. And I guess you feel like it was worth plowing through. But I wouldn't give it more than 3 stars.

  • Mary Hoch
    2019-03-07 06:50

    Elijah is the first free-born baby on the Buxton Settlement in Canada. The story takes place in 1860 and tells the story of Elijah at age 11. Buxton represents hope for former slaves and those trying to reach freedom. As Elijah comes of ages, he tries to overcome the fragility of childhood. He sets out to help his friend, Mr. Leroy, buy his family out of slavery. They journey to America after someone they thought they could trust runs off with Mr. Leroy’s money. On this journey, Elijah shows courage and determination as he finds himself having to make difficult decisions. This book won a Newbery Medal. It is written in the language of the character, Elijah, which,at first,took me some time to get used to, but makes the book culturally distinct. As I eased in, I became more and more engrossed in the story, and finished it in one day! This novel is perfect for 5th grade students. Although the characters are fictional, the story of Buxton and how it served as a refuge for slaves is real. This book could be used to bridge history and language arts in an integrated unit.

  • Toby Meredith
    2019-03-06 02:52

    1. When i first found the book I found the cover interesting, and bold. I also noticed the awards it had gotten from many world author organisations.2. I thought it was a really good book as it showed emotion and a true tale of friendship while being a sad story overall. 3. That with a true heart, comes great courage.4. I found elijah a kind-hearted character.He was described brave, and a good friend. He is known for his great impressions and is a funny but silly boy who is always looking for trouble.

  • L12_tomj
    2019-02-28 03:31

    Elijah is a “fragile” boy. After playing a practical joke on his elders, his mother repays the effort by having Elijah pull out a snake from a cookie jar. The boy runs screaming through the forest, and we are exposed to why his family has given him this tag. Elijah as the first free born black child in the Canadian settlement of Buxton, Ontario has much to learn about the complexities of adult life. Upon catching 10 fish, the local preacher uses his authority and Elijah's ignorance of the word “tithing” to trick Elijah into giving more fish than he should. Elijah will have to make some hard choices and quicker than his young 11 year old mind can emotionally or mentally handle. Elijah and Cooter celebrate the ringing in of five runaway slaves who have found their way to Buxton. It's a joyful moment for Elijah and his friend Cooter. Their innocence is about to end. When Mrs. Holton conveys to the community, and Elijah, that her husband has “left this world” due to the whippings at the hands of the slave owners, Elijah enlists himself along with the untrustworthy preacher to free Mr. Leroy's family from slavery in Michigan. With $2,200 in hand from Mrs. Holton, Mr. Highgate, Elijah, and the Preacher set off on their dangerous mission. The Preacher shoots Mr. Highgate, and takes the money. Elijah returns back to Buxton, and he and Mr. Leroy intend to return to Michigan to recapture the stolen money and free the slaves. On the way, Mr. Leroy dies of an apparent heart attack, and now Elijah has to decide to return to Buxton, or find a way to back to the 6 slaves who are hiding on a farm in America. Elijah's choice will dispel his “fragile” nature forever.Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis is tailor made for a rich oral story retelling. I listened to this story on audio CD, and the various voices, inflections and cadences, and comical and tragic narrative flow within the storyline is recaptured by the readers. Minus the rich retelling of the voices on the CD, the reviewer doesn't believe that he could have captured the essence of Elijah's and the community of Buxton's dramatic story. Christopher Paul Curtis' historical fiction is based on the real experiences of free communities in Canada who used the underground railroad of networked white and black contacts to free family and neighbors living in bondage in the United States. Elijah's, and his family, Cooter, and the rest of the community's authentic dialect is a constant presence in the book, and the reader is transported to the sights, sounds, and voices of this small freed black community. Christopher Paul Curtis' book is filled with comedic and tragic scenes and character lines, and any young reader could easily immerse themselves and imagine this world. Although some chapters are slow moving,the reader understands that Mr. Curtis has placed Elijah in many situations where his innocence is exposed against the preacher and others wisdom. Elijah will have to make some big choices with no real win-win outcomes for all parties involved, and all the buildup in the lengthy previous chapters is necessary character development for Elijah's dramatic confrontation with the evil Preacher, the true life and death perils of slavery, and his own "fragile" self. The historical fiction story would be an illustrative moment for History teachers from 7th through 12th grade to explore the challenges of freed blacks and their communities in Canada and America. Teachers would do well to supplement the historical record of the underground railroad, tragedy of the slave experience, and the challenges and triumphs of becoming freed citizens by reading “Elijah of Buxton”. The readers bring the print to life with their varied and unique interpretations of the characters motives, actions, and emotions, so brief excerpts from the audio CD along with discussion webs and pair shares about Elijah's and the community of Buxton's experiences would be worthwhile discussion and assignment for students. Teachers should also explore how the oral tradition of storytelling has kept the narratives and personal stories of African American experiences about slavery alive in the 21st century. Exploring the library of Congress for photographs and audio narratives from former slaves who survived into the 20th century to tell their tale are useful starting points for this discussion with students:, and Other stories that speak about the African-American experience include “One Crazy Summer” by Rita Williams Garcia about Black Panthers and family reunions, “The Mighty Miss Malone” by Christopher Paul Curtis concerning black family life during the Great Depression, and “If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad” a picture book by Ellen Levine.

  • 06mirandah
    2019-03-19 00:36

    Elijah of Buxtonby: Christopher Paul CurtisReview: Elijah is an eleven-year old boy living in Buxton, Canada, on a plantation for free slaves and their families. He was the first son born into freedom in his town. Elijah and his best friend, Cooter get to go to school and try their best. Elijah is very well known to the people in his community as a "fra-gile" boy who is scared of snakes, but when Elijah finds out that a man has stolen his friends money Elijah knows he will have to be brave. Elijah finds out that the money that was stolen was his friend's savings that were going to get his family from the South out of slavery.Elijah finds out who the thief was and decides to follow him. He leaves Canada and enters the United States and comes into the south. When Elijah sees how poorly and mistreated the slaves are he realizes how horrible his parents' life must have been. Elijah continues his journey and tries to help as many people as he can along the way. Elijah finally gets the thief to give back what he stole, but Elijah doesn't know if he has the courage or strength to make it back to Buxton and his family.Rating:I rated this book five stars because all of the details were very clear, and there was actual history about slavery throughout the book. It reminded me of when my grandpa would tell me about stories that his family had told him about slavery. I also really liked the various ways that Elijah grew during the book, and there weren't any holes in the plot, it all flowed together perfectly.Recommendation: I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fictional history or books that have a moral and the character grows throughout the story, or even someone who wants to get drawn into a good book.

  • Melissa
    2019-03-11 08:52

    This story takes place in the early 1860's just before the Civil War. Elijah is the main character and the narrator of the story. He was the first person born in the Buxton, Ontario settlement where runaway slaves would hide; therefore, he was not considered a slave/runaway slave. He is a very gullible 11 year old and consistently tries to prove that he is becoming a man despite his silliness and frequent mistakes. He is constantly called "fragile" by his mother and other people in the town of Buxton, Ontario. Elijah states, "there ain't nothing in the world she wants more than for me to quit being so doggone fra-gile." One of the humorous stories that Curtis adds to the text is when Fredrick Douglas comes to Buxton for a speech and he picks Elijah up and shakes him around causing Elijah to throw up all over him. This is the story that Elijah is known by throughout the town. Although he is just 11, he is very pleasant to others and has a lot of courage. He displays his courage when he decides to head south into the United States to help Mr. Leroy get his stolen money back. Mr. Leroy had saved up enough money to get his wife and children out of slavery and it was stolen and taken into the U.S. Elijah would not stand for such injustice and takes a huge leap into his manhood when he decides to go into a country that condones slavery. He also meets escaped slaves as well as slaves caught by slave-catchers. These moments are very emotional. Elijah develops throughout the story as he experiences the world around him. Curtis does a great job of drawing younger readers into the book with humor and keeping them reading with suspense. This is a great book for Social Studies content area reading, a read aloud and/or personal reading!

  • L Frost
    2019-02-27 03:56

    I wish I could give the first half of the book one rating and give the second half a different rating. The book has a slow start and doesn't seem to really have any sort of plot. It seems more like a collection of short stories from the life of 11 year old Elijah. As the book continues, more humor is found in the stories perhaps as the reader becomes more familiar with the characters. Even when it shifts to having more of a plot in the second half and developing a more serious tone, the author still incorporates humor as the story is told through the mind of a child. It's a good work of historical fiction that blends humor with a serious and sad section of history. The author also deals in a unique way with the subject matter by viewing it through the eyes and life of a free child living in a free settlement in Canada as opposed to life as a slave in the US. The Buxton Settlement itself would be an excellent place to study in a history class that focuses on this time period, just prior to the Civil War. There was no foul language or sexual situations. There is quite a bit of slapping, backhanding, etc of children which would have been commonplace for the time period. There is also a tense serious scene dealing with death, slaves and weapons, but it doesn't cross over to actual violence occurring in the scene or become gruesome in a way that would be inappropriate for readers 6th grade and up. Some advanced 4th & 5th grade readers would enjoy this book as well as middle school and up. The author writes in the dialect and spelling of the main character and the other characters so it may be more of a challenge for younger students to read.

  • James Govednik
    2019-03-24 06:41

    I listened to this book on audio CD, and it was fantastic. Mirron Willis does a great job of bringing Elijah and all the other numerous characters to life. Christopher Paul Curtis's story is informative, moving and uplifting. We get a glimpse of life in Buxton, a settlement of escaped slaves in Canada. Elijah is the first child born free in Buxton. I loved the way the historical details were woven into the story, from the school routine to daily chores to daring escapes from the brutality of slavery. Along the way, Elijah narrates as if we're reading from his journal, and it seems natural, as if we're listening to a friend share stories from their life. Elijah and his friend, Cooter, get into the usual scrapes 12-year old boys might encounter, and Elijah works hard to show the adults he is growing up and doesn't deserve to be described as "fragile" all the time, just because he is a very sensitive boy emotionally. Elijah's stories tell us of his family history, and the struggles of others in the settlement as they try to build a new life or continue working to rescue their loved ones who are still enslaved. Elijah also begins to experience what it's like to for adults to begin to treat him as a young adult, sometimes with good results, sometimes not so good. Some of the grim realism that comes into the story at this point makes this a book for older readers, 12 and up. This was a memorable book, and the emotional drama of some of the scenes will stay with me forever.

  • Bridget F
    2019-03-22 06:53

    Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis is told through the eyes of the kind, outspoken, sensitive, eleven-year-old Elijah. Elijah was born in the small town of Buxton, which is right over the Canadian border, and was established by runaway slaves. He lives a peaceful life attending church, school, and helps his neighbor, Mr. Leroy. Elijah, who sometimes has difficulty fully understanding the horrors his parents and other adults experienced and escaped from, was the first free child born in Buxton. Elijah’s parents want to protect sensitive Elijah from the harsh truths of their pasts. Elijah is determined to make things right when a man steals the money Mr. Leroy was saving to purchase his wife and children’s freedom, so Elijah follows the man over the border. Elijah’s adventure over the border shows him the harsh truth about slavery. His memories of being part of a caring community give him strength and courage on his journey. Will he find redemption for his neighbor? How will this journey change Elijah? Read to find out. I found this book on the Teaching Books website. Elijah of Buxton was a 2008 Newbery Honor book, and it was the Correta Scott King Award and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. This book was funny and heartwarming. Curtis created a genuine character that children can relate to. Curtis accurately depicts life in the time of slavery. I would use this book to compare and contrast how Elijah is impacted by the truths of slavery. How was his view of slavery at the beginning of the book and how was it at the end?

  • Aly Gutierrez
    2019-03-15 04:55

    • Summary-Elijah is the first free born child in the Canadian town of Buxton. Buxton was a settlement town set up near the border of the United States for escaped slaves. The book follows Elijah as he visits a carnival with a “not so holy” preacher who attempts to set the boy up to go to work for the carnival. After that scheme fell through the boy then goes on an adventure with his best friend “Cooter” to catch a thief. The boys must travel out of the safety of Canada to Michigan where they face off with various adversaries from slave catchers to plain white folk and then ultimately the thief. • John Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Award for Authors• Grade level, interest level, Lexile -5th-7th• Appropriate classroom use (subject area) -Read while learning about slavery.• Individual students who might benefit from reading -Students that are interested in history and the slavery aspect of history.• Small group use (literature circles) -After reading, have students analyze the events that occurred and helped him succeed. • Whole class use (read aloud) -After reading each section, analyze the events that occurred. • Related books in genre/subject or content area-Any book about slavery will be a follow up book. Such as, “The Mighty Miss Malone” by Christopher Paul Curtis. • Multimedia connections -Available on Kindle or as paperback.

  • L-Crystal Wlodek
    2019-03-14 04:44

    Elijah of Buxton is recommended for children in grades 6-8. I read this book in the audio book format, which was an Odyssey Award Honor book in 2009. This book is focused around Elijah Buxton, the first child born into freedom in Buxton, a settlement in Canada of runaway slaves. He is best known for his ability to throw rocks. He is also known to be “fragile”, but that changes when he goes on journey to America to find a thief who steels money from a friend who is trying to save money to buy his family out of captivity in the south. When traveling, he discovers the hardships of slavery, and becomes extremely grateful for a life in which he is always free. This story is interesting and full of adventure as it describes slavery in a first person perspective. Readers will learn about slavery conditions, through the eyes of someone close to their age. There are several memorable scenes throughout the book, especially when meeting escaped slaves. The language used throughout the book gives it a very emotional feel. The story is also very adventurous and humorous. I think this is a great novel that will introduce readers to slavery. When listening to this story in the form on an audio book, the storyteller was particularly strong with many voices, pausing, and inflection. To me, it was more like performance theater, then the reading of a great novel.

  • Holly
    2019-02-23 08:33

    This seemed like an epic of a story! Eleven-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves. This book is story after story of Elijah's escapades, discoveries, and journeys - some humorous and light-hearted, and some very dangerous and life-changing. His mother has always accused Elijah of being fra-gile because he cried a lot, and so this is a coming-of-age story, too, as Elijah tries to prove himself time and time again. The two chapters that are especially poignant are the walk home with Mr. Leroy when Elijah learns to never say the N word, and when he finds some chained up slaves in a barn while looking for the Preacher. I got choked up at these scenes. There are also chapters that make you laugh aloud at boyhood antics. I really enjoyed the narrator. I think the dialect would be really hard for fifth graders, so I'd probably have to do it as a book group for high readers in which we'd address how to read dialect. Listening to it on audio tape made it much easier! Christopher Paul Curtis writes great historical fiction and is quite a storyteller. I've always enjoyed Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham, too. I saw that he's got a new one out that I'm going to have to read soon! The Author's Note is really interesting, also.

  • Max
    2019-03-02 04:48

    This is a book that I really enjoyed. Story's of slavery and racism are very common and very easy to write. Elijah was a misunderstood character which most people can connect to because nobody is seen by the public the same way they see themselves. He is brave and shows his true colors by tracking down the man who stole his friend's money. It takes a man to do that, especially for someone else. The plot in this story is absolutely phenomenal. Not to mention the time period and racism he deals with makes the challenge all the more difficult. He is a very good dynamic character that changes for the best throughout the story. Or did he was just given the opportunity to show his true character and never changed at all? This story is very well written, it makes one feel like they are Elijah and are doing these things! That makes the story all the more dramatic as you hope for the best for the character. There was also a great use of horror through the gory events such as the beating aftermath, the drowning, brandings, starvings, etc. It may depict the time as worse than it really was, but that's what readers want to read. The reason this book didn't receive a five in my mind is because slavery and racism is an overused theme and there are many better story's about the same topic.

  • Benji Martin
    2019-03-24 01:36

    I don't know how Christopher Paul Curtis does it. Every single time he writes a book, he manages to tell a deep, heavy, meaningful story, but at the same time he keeps it light-hearted and hilarious. Before I start a CPC book, I prepare myself for a whole lot of laughter, and some gut-wrenching crying as well.This is my favorite of his books (and that's saying a ton. I love Budd not Buddy, The Mighty Miss Malone and The Watsons go to Birmingham.) I've read lots of short stories, picture books and novels about the Underground Railroad, but this story is about the end of the Railroad, the freedom side of the border in Canada. Not only do we see the heartache and pain that the former slaves had to go through to win freedom (and sometimes not win it), but we see the joy and relief that came with winning it, as well. Elijah spends most of the book trying to break the label that his mom and the rest of Buxton have put on him, that he's a fragile boy that never would have lasted a day as a slave. In the end, though, he proves that he is smart, brave and tough, and really was all along.My only regret is that I waited so long to read this book. I'll be recommending it to lots of students next year, and probably every year that I'm still a librarian after that.