Christopher Paul Curtis

Christopher Paul Curtis is a novelist and popular children’s author. In 2000, he won the Newbery Medal and also the Coretta Scott King Award for his one of his early children’s novel. The Newbery Medal is awarded for the “most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year”.

Christopher Paul Curtis had the urge to write books. He was often scribbling down notes, even while at work. Finally, he quit his job to concentrate on writing a novel. In the mid 1990’s, Curtis and his family moved to Windsor, Ontario. Every week, he came to the Central Library and sat at a table and wrote and wrote. The result was “Bud, not Buddy”. He is a frequent visitor to the Central Library to write, and he has also given many book talks to school groups here.

Curtis was born in 1953 in Flint Michigan, where he grew up. He went to Dewey Elementary School, Clark Elementary School, and Pierce Elementary School. He also Christopher Paul Curtisstudied at McKinley Junior High School. At this school, he became the first African-American to be elected to the student council. Curtis graduated from Flint Southwestern High School in 1972.

After high school, he enrolled at the University of Michigan-Flint. To earn some money for college, he started working at the Fisher Body plant in Flint, where they built Buicks. Curtis’ job was to put the heavy doors on the cars. It was strenuous and tedious work. To break the monotony of the job, Curtis began to write during his coffee breaks and down time. He worked there for 13 years. He quit GM, and worked at a number of low paying jobs.

Curtis finished his first book in 1993 – The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963. This book was followed by Bud, not Buddy which won the 2000 Newbery Medal and the 2000 Coretta Scott King Author Award. He continues writing, and his latest books were “The Mighty Miss Malone” (2012) and The Journey of Little Charlie (2018)