Saturday, April 26, 2008

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

Winner of the 2008 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
Winner of the 2008 Coretta Scott King Book Award
A 2008 Newbery Honor Book


"I also saw she didn't have no clothes on 'cepting a rag hanging 'cross one of her shoulders... There were thick bands of iron hugged 'round her ankles connecting up to some locks and chains that were keeping her where she was at...

The rest of 'em were men and they waren't wearing nothing atall, not even a rag. Their ankles were covered with the same kind of thick iron shackles as the woman's...

Ma and Pa and all the growned folks in the Settlement had told us plenty of stories 'bout folks in chains afore, and a couple of people in Buxton even have thick, shiny scars on their ankles and wrists from wearing 'em. But seeing the chains real waren't the kind of thing you could imagine. It waren't the kind of picture that words could paint.

Maybe the growned folks were trying not to scare us when they told stories 'bout folks being chained up, 'cause judging by the way these people looked, I knowed we waren't getting the whole story."



This book made my heart stop. It reminded me of oppression all over the world - past and present. It reminded me to count my blessings. Elijah of Buxton is about slavery and the different attitudes towards slavery. Elijah of Buxton is about escape, freedom, and hope - and the different attitudes towards escape, freedom, and hope.

Christopher Paul Curtis takes us back to 1860 and life in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves. He tells the story of the Buxton community from the point of view of sharp-minded eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first child born into freedom in Buxton. Because of Mr. Curtis's linguistic genius, Elijah and all the other characters and all their voices are amazingly real. This novel is an interesting story about a child's life of liberty on the Settlement and an adventure that takes him to the U.S. and makes sure that he will never take his liberty for granted.

4 comments:

Natalie said...

Hey Tarie!
Looks like a good book. You've been a busy reader. What else is going on? Thinking of you. ((hugs))

Tarie said...

Honestly, I think the book is "slow." But its themes hit me and I think theme is the most important element of fiction!

My cousin got married on Saturday and my brothers graduated from college on Sunday! I hope to be able to post some pictures soon. :o)

*hugs!!!*

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I'm so glad that you enjoyed this one. I've heard a lot of people say it was slow, but I was fascinated with learning about the lifestyle of the people in this community. An amazing story!

Tarie said...

After reading the book I realized that it was ok that it was slow because I learned so much! For me, it's the insights that I get from a book that really count.