Thursday, January 10, 2008

Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis

Buxton is a community in Canada founded by escaped slaves from the United States and Elijah is the first free child born there. His accounts of life in Buxton are often humorous while also capturing the close ties in the community. In pursuit of a thief, Elijah ventures back over the border and confronts the horrors of slavery first hand. Curtis has the amazing gift of telling a story from a young person's voice in a way that first reels the reader in with incredible humor and then confronts the reader with grim realities.

Grades 5-8


Brucie said...

The thing that makes this book so compelling is that it is told from the perspecitve of a young African American boy whose parents were slaves but who has never know slavery himself. As he discovers the true brutality and dehumanizing effects of slavery, the reader is drawn into the reality of the "peculiar instutition" in a new and startling way. Funny and very serious by turns, this historical novel deserves a place in all middle school library collections.

KP said...

I think Curtis is back into his groove -- finding an historical event set in his region of the country that a naive character can discover for us the readers. This is not for the faint of heart however, and I would not recommend it for elementary collections, despite that fact that they are all adding it to their buy lists.