Master storyteller Christopher Paul Curtis lends his trademark humor and vibrant narrative style to the gripping tale of eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman. The first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit, Elijah is best known in his hometown as the boy who threw up on Frederick Douglass. (Not on purpose, of course — he was just a baby then!) But things change when a former slave calling himself the Right Reverend Zephariah W. Connerly the Third steals money from Elijah's friend Mr. Leroy, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in the south. Elijah joins Mr. Leroy on a dangerous journey to America in pursuit of the disreputable preacher, 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 go back home. Exciting, yet evocative, heart-wrenching, yet hilarious, Elijah of Buxton is Christopher Paul Curtis at his very best — and it's an unforgettable testament to the power of hope. Elijah of Buxton is the winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and a Newbery Honor Book for 2008.
This award-winning book provides opportunities to discuss slavery, the Underground Railroad and the meaning of freedom. Activities engage students in researching the history and culture of a critical time in our country’s past.