"Bud, Not Buddy" is a novel about a boy named Bud Caldwell in 1930s Michigan on a quest to discover who his father is and where he came from. Christopher Paul Curtis wrote the novel in 1999.
After Bud's mother dies, he is placed in an orphanage and several foster homes, because his mother never told him who his father was. However, Bud believes his mother might have left clues about his father. From a young age, Bud noticed posters hanging on the walls of their home of Herman E. Calloway, the leader of jazz band the Dusky Devastators of the Depression. Bud thinks Calloway has to have answers.
Bud is eventually placed with a cruel foster family who locks him in a shed overnight after he fights with the family's son, Todd. Bud escapes from the shed and runs away, but not before getting revenge on Todd. Bud walks to Grand Rapids, Michigan and finally tracks down Calloway and learns that he is, in fact, Bud's grandfather. Though his band treats Bud kindly, Calloway does not. However, after Bud tells Calloway about the death of his mother, Angela, Calloway is moved and grief-stricken. In the end, Calloway's heart is softened to Bud. He gives Bud a horn from the band and Bud believes that his luck may have turned and he may have a brighter future.