This week I finished two books and trucked along on two other ones. The two I’m still reading? Who Am I Without Him?, the series of short stories I started last week. I read a story a night before I go to bed… most of the time. I also began The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the novel my book club has decided to read. I closed the cover on Bud, Not Buddy and Loser.
Bud, Not Buddy is about a ten-year-old orphan, who prefers to go by Bud (hence, the title). He lives in a Home and goes into a foster home where their son abuses him and Bud ends up forced to spend the night in a creepy, boobytrapped shed. He finally escapes with his suitcase of memories, his most prized possession. After spending a few days hopping between the library and soup kitchen, Bud runs into one of his friends from the Home, nicknamed Bugs. They find their way to a Hooverville, one of the many camps for people impacted by the Great Depression, named after President Hoover. Here Bugs and Bud earn their keep and Bud get his first kiss. They try to escape on the railroads, but Bud can’t make the jump. Within his suitcase of memories is a flyer for a jazz group and Bud suspects the “man with the large sideways fiddle” is his father. With determination, a few hiccups along the way, Bud finally finds the band on the blue flyer. With it comes a place to call home, a purpose in life and a family member, but not the one you would expect.
Jerry Spinelli’s Loser, the other book I finished this week, was a heart touching story about that kid who laughs too loud, loves too hard, has endless curiosity and wants to be friends with everyone. Donald Zinkoff is a loser in every sense of the word. On the very first day of school he wears a three-foot-tall giraffe hat he got from a trip to the zoo and on Saturdays, he goes to school because he just really loves school. Zinkoff wants to be a mailman, just like his dad and makes friends with all his unlikely neighbors. The kids at school find him to be a clueless comic relief, but the readers see him as a teacher’s savior. While he can’t focus and blurts out answers, he loves school and wants to learn more than anything. He has a heart of gold and a story that’ll make you laugh and cry only pages apart. I highly recommend Loser to anyone looking for a book about the underdog who loves the world.