The Return of Buddy Bush

The Return of Buddy Bush

For Ages: 12 and up
  • reading group guide
  • customer reviews
First introduced in Shelia P. Moses' award-winning The Legend of Buddy Bush, Pattie Mae Sheals continues her journey in The Return of Buddy Bush. Pattie Mae goes to Harlem to visit her sister after the death of their beloved grandfather and the disappearance of Uncle Buddy, who has been wrongly accused of a terrible crime. Harlem could not be more different from Rich Square, North Carolina-people speak differently, people dress differently, and black men and women work and run their own businesses, just like any white man would do. Harlem is magical to Pattie Mae, and a chance meeting with the black writer Richard Wright fully opens her eyes to the fact that anything is possible in her future.

Pattie Mae is not only determined to soak up the Northern lifestyle, but she is on a secret mission to find her uncle. The rumors are that he is hiding out in Harlem, so Pattie Mae wants to bring him back. In her innocence she believes that once Uncle Buddy returns, he can have a fair trial and prove once and for all that he did nothing wrong.

What Pattie Mae learns about life and opportunity, and what Uncle Buddy learns about family and justice, are at the heart of this rich and unforgettable novel.
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  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 176 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439116371 | 
  • May 2010 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
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Reading Group Guide

A Guide for Reading Groups
The Return of Buddy Bush
by Shelia P. Moses
Discussion Questions
1. Pattie Mae says that her grandfather died not from illness or old age, but "from a broken heart about [her] Uncle Buddy and what the white folks did to him. (p.3)" What does she mean? Do you think it is possible to die from a broken heart? What is the connection between mental and physical health? What impact can years of discrimination and mistreatment have on a person's well-being?
2. The Jones family and others in Rich Square observe certain rituals when people pass away. Give examples. What is the meaning behind these customs? What is their purpose, and how do they serve to strengthen family and community in times of crisis? What rituals does your family observe when someone dies? How is death honored in different religions and cultures?
3. Pattie Mae says, "Uncle Buddy should have stayed North. North of Baltimore, where colored men belong, so they can be men (p.2)" Later, Uncle Buddy tells her that southern blacks move to Harlem so they can "get some respect (p. 75)." If you were to ask Pattie Mae and Uncle Buddy to explain what they mean, how would they respond? Why and in what ways was life in the south different from life in the north in the 1940s? What factors (historical, economic, cultural) affected race relations? Is the situation the same today? Why or why not? What has, or has not, changed?
4. What are Pattie Mae's first impres see more

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