Elijah of Buxton

Elijah of Buxton

by Christopher Paul Curtis


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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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439023443
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 08/06/2007
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 464,186
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 980L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Christopher Paul Curtis was awarded both a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor for his debut book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963, and won the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award for his second book, Bud, Not Buddy. Mr. Curtis is also the author of the Golden Kite Award-winning Bucking the Sarge, as well as Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission, and the Newbery Honor book Elijah of Buxton.

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Elijah of Buxton 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 90 reviews.
csi-51 More than 1 year ago
Great book for summer reading
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
AndrewcAC More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really lov books lik the/ wastons go to birmingham-1963.but ths book is really cool too!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that it was very insightful and i like how Elijah is very detailed in the book
JackieHancox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The colloquial language of this book may make it challenging for some students to read, but Mirron Willis does a beautiful job in the audio version of engaging the audience and making the common language charming. Elijah is an incredibly likeable character who is very optimistic, humourous and courageous. Through his tale, he brings Canadian history alive. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would easily recommend it to classes studying Slavery and the role of the Canadian underground railway.
tonawandagirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elijah is an 11-year-old boy, or as he likes to say, a ¿nearly 12-year-old boy¿ who more than anything in the world, wants the grown-ups around him to realize that he is no longer a little boy and should not be treated that way. He has grown up free in Buxton, Canada, across the river from Detroit, Michigan. His parents escaped slavery in the United States and fled to Canada where Elijah was born. The story takes place in the very real town of Buxton, Canada which was a settlement created for escaped slaves in the early 1860s.Elijah¿s mother had always called him ¿fra-gile¿ but he wants to prove to her and to everyone else that he is not. He has always been a sensitive child, given to crying easily and is wise beyond his years. His parents hved always told him to trust his instincts and not to believe everything that he has been told or has overheard. As much as he wants to be considered grown-up, he is often confused by the things that the adults around him say and do, especially the man everyone calls the Preacher. As Elijah says, ¿He ain¿t atall like a common preacher that¿s got a church or nothing, but he tells anyone that will listen that he¿s the Right Reverend Deacon Doctor Zephariah Connerly the Third, and that he¿s the most educated, smartest man anywhere `round.¿ (p. 3) The Preacher is constantly coming up with new schemes that are supposedly ¿for the good of the settlement¿ and that he wants Elijah to help him with. Finally, in a life or death situation, Elijah finds himself having to choose between what the Preacher wants him to do and what he thinks is right.Overall, I enjoyed this book but it didn¿t really grab my attention until chapter 5. The character development was a bit meandering and the child¿s amazing insights into life were a bit difficult to believe. This was the first time I had ever listened to an audiobook. While it was nice to listen to it while driving, it did not lend itself to marking pages or taking notes for the assignment I was reading it for. There was also the difference of 9 hours of listening time versus 2-3 hours of reading time. The narrator on the CD, a distinguished African American actor, did not have a Southern accent and his reading of the book in Elijah¿s dialect was a bit stilted and awkward, which was a distraction. I also checked out the book to compare the 2 experiences and overall, I found reading the book to be much more engaging. But I am definitely a visual learner and find it much easier to focus when I'm reading.
stornelli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, a haven for slaves fleeing the American South, uses his wits to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom.Setting: Buxton is located on Lake Erie near Windsor, ON, and used as a drop off on the Underground Railroad.
rafaelnadal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Christopher Curtis' Elijah of Buxton interests me. This book is a great historical fiction on racism from a thrid person point of view.The theme in this story talks about courage. The courage of Elijah to face all his fears of failure or events. His best friend is now in misery caused by a former slave stealing his money for bringing his family out of captivity. He knows that his friend has waited long for all this money and is very important to him. He decides to go and help a friend when he is down. And off course his friend would have done the same for him. The point of view that this whole story is given is unique and more interesting. It is fairly rare that the story is told from third person and this just gives a more special twist to the story. Hearing the voice of the character telling it. This story relates a lot to racism, slavery and i can infer that the setting of this story takes place around the 1600s because that was the time of slaves and racism. This story makes me think about the events throughout history on racism and race separation.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is so breathtakingly beautiful that I'm at a loss to adequately write a review that would provide justice.Christopher Paul Curtis is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. A three-time Newbery award winner, his works shine like a bright beacon of hope for any aspiring writer. A 13-year assembly line worker in Flint Michigan, Curtis became a fledgling writer during breaks in the factory. With the encouragement of his wife, he took a year away from his job and spent his days in libraries writing and researching the background for his stories while learning how to submit his work to publishing companies.Never returning to the factory, he became a highly successful writer. His books Bud, Not Buddy, The Watsons Go To Birmington and Elijah of Buxton are filled with incredibly likeable characters you would love to meet. When reading his stories, the characters seem to jump off the pages and become vibrantly alive.Elijah of Buxton is set in pre Civil War 1860. Buxton Ontario provides the setting for the marvelous character of Elijah Freeman whose claim to fame is that he is the first child born free in the settlement.Buxton, Ontario was indeed an actual community in the Canadian wilderness founded by Rev. William King, a white man from Philadelphia, PA who was severely critical of slavery and empowered to put his feelings into actions.In all his books, Curtis deftly weaves historical fact with fictional characters. This marvelous book is packed full of humor, wit and seriousness. Without over bearing preaching and prostelytizing, Curtis paints a vivid portrait of the joy of freedom and the brutality of slavery.According to his mother, Elijah is a "fra-gile" child, quickly prone to tears and emotion. When The Right Rev. Zephariah W. Connerly III leaves Buxton with the money that Elijah's adult friend Mr. Leroy saved in order to purchase his family from slavery, Elijah's fragility is agumented with a keen sense of indignation and courage.Traveling with Mr. Leroy to America in search of the crooked scoundrel, Elijah witnesses the brutality of slavery and learns first hand the extreme horror his parents fled.In the end, Elijah keeps his wonderful fragility and learns that his sensitivity provides the strength needed when facing adversity.If you read one of my recommendations this year, please let it be this book!This is a powerful symphony of hope and a testimony to the power of the human soul striving to be alive and free!HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Samantha_Wright on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elijah of Buxton is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada. Elijah is a very active young boy who has many talents, but doesn't have much courage. A slave steals from Elijah's friend who has been saving money to rescue his parents so Elijah goes on this journey to America to prove his courage and to find the slave who stole from his friend. On his adventure, Elijah discovers the horrible things his family had experienced before they were free. I really enjoyed really this book and would recommend it being in a classroom for teachers to share with their students. Children can learn a great deal from this book.
beckers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Zach GonzalesElijah of Buxton is about a boy named Elijah who was the first free-born in the town of buxton, and he is famous just for that. Elijah had many friends and many adventures, though many people think he's just a "fra-gile" boy. But a former slave steals the money from one of Elijah's friends who has been saving money to buy his family out of slavery in the south. Since that happened it is up to Elijah to find the thief and get back the money. It's a very dangerous journey, and he could be risking his own life. This book is a historical fiction. I think this book is fantastic and I recommend this to people who loves adventures. This book also has 12 A.R. points.
erinbreland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elijah of Buxton would be a great book for children in grades 5 and up. This book is a newbery medal winner. The dialect in this book makes the reading more fun because it is set back in the 1800's after the civil war in Canada and the words and wording of the book really show the reader what it was like in that time period. Elijah is the only true free slave in Buxton, Canada, which is near the American Border. Buxton was full of runaway slaves. ELijah is a smart and intellectual boy and a lot of the people in the community come to him for help with writing and reading. Elijah is also excellent at chunking rocks and catching fish, but he is scared of snakes. Elijah is faced with many adventures including going into America to try and help Mr. Leroy buy his family back. Once he is in America Mr. Leroy is killed and Elijah is left all alone. He gets captured and locked up with other captured slaves. Elijah escapes and takes the baby that is with the captured slaves with him to try and give her a better life and save her life all together. When Elijah comes back into Canada he looked at Hope, the baby, and points at the land and says, "Looky there, look at that land! Look at those trees! Have you ever seen anything that precious? It's the land of the free!"(pg.340) That is my favorite part of the whole book because it really shows what kind of character Elijah is. Despite how scared he must have been all alone traveling, he still takes care of Hope and gets her to safety because he promised her parents he would. This book is great for young children especially those that are going through changes because Elijah of Buxton could teach children a few good things.
bnhays on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story is a bout a boy going up in a free town. When the preacher steals money that was meant to free a mans family, elijah goes with the man to find the precher in hope of finding the money. After the man suffers a heart attack the boy finds the preacher dead and saves a baby while having to leave the babies family with a gun knowing they would use it. This is a very heavy story. I was almost in tears at the end.
amandacb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elijah of Buxton tells the story of a boy, the first freed slave to be born in a newly-founded free town for former slaves, and his day-to-day trials. Also, a corrupt priest steals money from Elijah¿s friend and Elijah must gather his wits to outsmart the priest. The priest has been giving him trouble since the opening of the book. Elijah, through his wits and intelligence, discovers a way to recollect the money. The story is told from Elijah¿s (young) perspective, and it is written in a rather distracting dialect. Unlike, for instance, Their Eyes Were Watching God, which vacillates between dialect and high English, Elijah of Buxton is consistent in its usage of dialect. This usage may be off-putting to some readers.If a student can get past the dialect, then this would be a rewarding read. It is not circulated nearly enough for how good of a story it is.
mscoopsyalist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elijah, is eleven years old. He was the first child born as a free person in Buxton, Canada, a settlement founded for runaway slaves just over the border. Elijah is a very observant boy who has the amazing ability to throw stones with extreme distance and accuracy. He is most well-known for his first experience with the famous historic figure, Frederick Douglass. However, Elijah's happy-go-lucky life changes drastically when he heroically attempts to right a terrible wrong and discovers, first-hand, the terrible life his parents escaped from.
Taxi_Cab on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elijah of Buxton is the wonderful adventures of the life of the first free-born black child born in Canada.
ronda73ca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
... The characters in this book are so well developed you'll feel like you know them and have entered into their world. The book slows somewhat in the middle, but hang in there keep reading. The ending is absolutely incredible, get your tissues ready! brillant book!
chinquapin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eleven year old Elijah Freeman was the first free child born to the former slave residents in Buxton settlement in Canada. He has lived a life free from the direct horrors of slavery, although he has heard many stories from the "growned up folk." For the first half of the novel, we read about Elijah's life in Buxton... chores, school, friends and family. Then, the story deftly turns down a darker path when one of the men's money, thousands of dollars saved to buy his wife and two children, is stolen by a ne-er-do-well man who goes by the nickname of Preacher. Elijah feels responsible for this loss because he had told the man that he thought the Preacher could be trusted. So, Elijah goes with Mr. Leroy down to Detroit in America to try and find the Preacher and recover the money. Elijah is confronted with horrors of slavery firsthand and has to make to some very mature decisions. This was a brilliantly executed coming-of-age story. Elijah truly moves from a childhood innocence into a mature understanding of the joys of freedom and responsibility when they are seen thru the lens of the terrible realities of slavery and evil. Curtis develops his characters very carefully and subtly, and explains simply many things pertaining to life as a newly freed slave. Elijah is reminded by his parents 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." The book is set in a real historical setting, Buxton settlement in Canada is very accurately portrayed in the book, right down to the Latin in the school and the regulations about how the houses must be built and land cleared. Even the stories related by the some of the adults in the community come from the original residents of the settlement. I was not familiar with this history, and I read up on it on the internet while reading the book. I would love to visit the site and the museum that is there now someday.
CircusTrain on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
5Q ¿ fast pace, lots of humor, and wonderful dialogue! This tells an important story from an equally important perspective, but never becomes pedantic or preachy.4Q ¿ would be a 5, but kids tend to resist books with loads of awards.
Bobby3457 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of all time. No matter what I say this is a book that i would read over and over again. I think that most ofthe people that have read this book feel like it was a great book and that they would recomend it to anyone. I feel the same way that even if they are not a fan of this type of writing that they would at least enjoy this book. I especially liked how the author wrote the book the way that the people were talking. He didn't say them in a more formal way he used slang and if you didn't understand what it meant than sometimes you were completly lost. I liked that it sounded like it was being told by someone the stuff was actually happening too. If anyone asked me about that book I would tell them in my personal opinion it is the best thing that you will ever read if you read it.This book starts in the town of Buxton. It is a town that is mainly made up of slaves that went into Canada to escape slavery. Elijah was the first child in the town to have been born free. He is espacially scared of snakes and he really enjoys hanging around a man that people in the community call the preacher even though his family tells him to stay away from him. The Preacher's family is still enslaved in the south and he wants to be able to buy them back. He is so desperate to get them back he steals the money and leaves. Elijah sets off to find him and take the money that was stolen back. At the end of the book he finds the Preacher and is going to kill him, but he was too late and the Preacher is alrady dead.
Ms.Elkins on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amazing book about a young boy living in a community of freed slaves in Canada. Contains some frightening and disturbing elements that make it more suitable for older elementary students.