Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis

This novel follows an orphan boy by the name of Bud, Not Buddy. He carries around a suitcase that is very special to him that contains a collection of his mother's things. One of the most special things in that suitcase is a flyer of a jazz band with the main guy on the front- Bud thinks that guy is his father. After a terrible foster home experience Bud takes off to find the man he thinks is his father. This novel is intended for 5th or 6th graders. The historical context and some language fits this age group's maturity. An activity I could do with this book would be to have the students do a "show and tell" type activity for them to bring one thing they would take in their suitcase if they had to leave their home. This would make students think what is really important to them, along with realizing what is important to their peers.