Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis

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Luther T. Farrell has got to get out of Flint, Michigan.

As his best friend Sparky says, “Flint’s nothing but the Titanic.”

And his mother, a.k.a. the Sarge, says, “Take my advice and stay off the sucker path.”

The Sarge milked the system to build an empire of slum housing and group homes. Luther’s just one of the many people trapped in the Sarge’s Evil Empire—but he’s about to bust out.

If Luther wins the science fair this year, he’ll be on track for college and a future as America’s best-known and best-loved philosopher. All he’s got to do is beat his arch rival Shayla Patrick, the beautiful daughter of Flint’s finest undertaker—and the love of Luther’s life.

Sparky’s escape plans involve a pit bull named Poofy and the world’s scariest rat. Oh, and Luther. Add to the mix Chester X., Luther’s mysterious roommate; Dontay Gaddy, a lawyer whose phone number is 1-800-SUE’M ALL; and Darnell Dixon, the Sarge’s go-to guy who knows how to break all the rules.

Bucking the Sarge is a story that only Christopher Paul Curtis could tell. Once again the Newbery Award–winning author of Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 gives us a whole new angle on life and a world full of unforgettable and hilarious characters. Readers will root for Luther and Sparky every step of the way.

Praise for The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963:

“An exceptional first novel.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred

“Ribald humor . . . and a totally believable child’s view of the world will make this book an instant hit.”—School Library
, Starred

Praise for Bud, Not Buddy:

“Curtis has given a fresh, new look to a traditional orphan-finds-a-home story that would be a crackerjack read-aloud.”
School Library Journal, Starred

From the Hardcover edition.

About Christopher Paul Curtis

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Christopher Paul Curtis was born in Flint, Michigan, and grew up there. Bud, Not Buddy, his second novel, winner of the 2000 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award, is available in a Delacorte hardcover edition.

Author Residence: Detroit, Michigan

Author Hometown: Flint, Michigan
Published July 1, 2009 by Laurel Leaf. 270 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships, Business & Economics. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bucking the Sarge

Kirkus Reviews

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Luther’s hard-driving mother, “Sarge,” has built personal life and financial empire (slum housing, group homes, loan sharking business) through belief in two things: herself and money.

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The New York Times

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OR those of you who know Flint, Mich., only from Michael Moore's movies, especially ''Roger and Me,'' ''Bucking the Sarge'' isn't exactly going to change your mind about that city's being rather low on the ladder out of purgatory.

Nov 14 2004 | Read Full Review of Bucking the Sarge

Teen Reads

When his gold-medal science fair project lands him in some serious hot water with the Sarge, Luther gets creative and joins forces with his loyal if slightly harebrained sidekick Sparky to put the Sarge in her rightful place.

Sep 14 2004 | Read Full Review of Bucking the Sarge

Common Sense Media

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.Find out more Parents need to know that even in the face of an intimidating criminal parent (and her hired goon) who uses him as a virtual slave, the main character, Luther, behaves as nobly as he can, though he indulges in retribut...

Sep 19 2004 | Read Full Review of Bucking the Sarge

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