Understanding Buddy

by Marc Kornblatt

Silent, withdrawn Buddy White, a new kid in Sam Keeperman’s school, is an easy... read more

Silent, withdrawn Buddy White, a new kid in Sam Keeperman’s school, is an easy target for the other kids’ teasing. But Sam won’t join in. He knows Buddy’s mom died over the summer in a car accident. Buddy’s mother worked for his family as a cleaning woman. Sam can’t imagine what it would be like to lose his mom, and he is not sure what to say to Buddy. But his first awkward gestures toward Buddy slowly blossom into friendship. At the same time, Sam’s relationship with his own best friend — who doesn’t like Buddy — is jeopardized. This novel set in Madison features a contemporary Jewish American child (and, in Buddy, a contemporary child whose family members are Jehovah’s Witnesses) whose questions about death, life, religion, and the meaning of friendship are explored with honesty and sensitivity. (Ages 9–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002

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