Monday, October 17, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

Elijah of Buxton
by Christopher Paul Curtis

Flap Copy description:
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 in his hometown as the boy who made a memorable impression on Frederick Douglass. But things change 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 he 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.

My thoughts:
Elijah of Buxton has all of the elements you hope for in a great middle grade novel: wonderful character development, an engaging plot, and written in a skillful, storytelling style. The author, Christopher Paul Curtis, has written this historical fiction with a strong dialect, which may be a good challenge for the younger reader. For me, it was the most important element in making the story extremely believable. Elijah of Buxton won a Newbery Honor Award in 2008. It is one of those rare books I can strongly recommend to readers of all ages - adults, too! But be prepared, you better have your Kleenex ready!

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