Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 6 - 12X5.477916
Newbery Medalist and CSK Award winner Christopher Paul Curtis's debut middle-grade/young-YA novel for Scholastic features his trademark humor, compelling storytelling, and unique narrative voice.

Eleven-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit. He's best known for having made a memorable impression on Frederick Douglass, but that changes when a former slave steals money from Elijah’s friend, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in the South. Elijah embarks on a dangerous journey to America in pursuit of the thief and discovers firsthand the unimaginable horrors of the life his parents fled--a life from which he’ll always be free, if he can find the courage to get back home.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published on August 6, 2007 by Scholastic Press
ISBN-10: 0439023440
ISBN-13: 9780439023443
16 Book Reviews
  • jb9
    jb98 months33 stars
    My teacher loaned and recommended this book to me so I was like"sure I'll give it a try! "
    • mary_soccer14
      mary_soccer14over 1 year55 stars
      Elijah is an eleven year old "fragile boy" who was the first born free in Buxton, Canada. Eli is faced with challenge after challenge. One of the biggest challenges Elijah faced was when the Preacher steals money from a friend who was trying to buy his family out of slavery. Eli tries to help, and goes out to find the "stealer of dreams". I think five stars is a worthy rating for this book because you can connect to it in many ways. I connect with this book when I have tough decisions to make and don't know what to do.
      • nac
        nacover 2 years55 stars
        This book is hilarious, and sweet. I love the funny stories, especially the one when his mother puts a snake in the cookie jar. Definitely five star.
        • derbydevil
          derbydevilalmost 3 years
          I love this book because it is really interesting and very exciting to read. And this book can show you a lot of interesting things inside of this story.
          • liveshot23
            liveshot23over 3 years55 starsFeatured
            I like this book a lot, it's hilarious about Frederick Douglass tossing Elijah up and down. As a result of those actions, Elijah throwed up on him. Many people said that he throwed up so hard that no deer nor rabbit died in five years and no wolf ever killed any prey because why hunt and chase while there's some food or throwed up stuff in some building. In addition everything was well described. And I pictured it in my mind with all the elements they've gave me. Thank you author for this awesome book!
            • garciann125
              garciann125over 3 yearsFeatured
              The book i'm reviewing is called Elijah of Buxton. Elijah of Buxton is a story about 11-year old Elijah Freeman who lives in Buxton, Canada. It is a settlement of runaways slaves near the American border. Elijah is the first child in town to be born free, so most people know about him and he is the best at chunking rocks and catching fish. What most people see is a boy who is scared of snakes and talks too much. Most of the time nothing happens but everything changes when a thief steals money from Elijah's friend who is saving up to buy his family out of captivity in the south. It's now Elijahs job to track down the thief. Will he get the money back? Will he get back home? You will have to read the book and find out. This book is recommended for 10 to 12 year olds because younger people might not know what slaves are and there are injuries in this book.
              • Smithers2000about 5 years
                Elijah is a young black boy from Buxton. He has always been free, and does not know what it is like to be a slave. He is an ordinary boy who plays pranks, despises school, and loves adventures. Some might say he is a fragile boy, but he is brave, even if he doesn't know it himself. When calamitous events overtake his friend, he goes with him on his journey in an attempt to win back what was rightfully his. In the end, Elijah realizes what it is to be free, and just how blessed he is. This book runs along the lines of Tom Sawyer, but a little more kid friendly. With memorable lines, and hilarious misadventures, this heartwarming story will leave readers feeling satisfied, thankful, and happy.
                • horse4
                  horse4over 6 years55 stars
                  This book is so good. I love stories in the time of slaves. Watch out for the the preacher.........
                  • ballerina4
                    ballerina4over 6 years
                    this book is amazing! This was one of my favourite books that my reading group read.
                    • mysterystar
                      mysterystaralmost 7 years22 stars
                      "The Preacher throwed his knife into the ground where the tracks use to be and put his hand on the fancy holster and mystery pistol he always totes. "Boys," he whispered, "I need you to solemnly promise me something. I want you both to swear on your mothers' lives that if I'm ever bitten by one of these beasts, you'll take this pistol and put a bullet in my brain! I'd rather be shot dead than face such a horrible, prolonged death! Raise your hands, I need each of you to promise that you'll blow my head right off my shoulders!" I near jumped to the moon when a loud bang came from behind me! I looked back and Cooter'd already run into his house and slammed and locked the door. He waren't 'bout to promise nothing!" My teacher made me read Elijah for a project we had. I absolutely despised it. I get that it's from his point of view, but I wish he didn't talk laik dis. He was obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed. And, the real problem, the one advertised in the back of the book, doesn't being until the last 8 chapters. The first part of the book is Elijah's boring life. Once you get to the main problem, though, (which is in the end) the book does get a bit better. Still, I hated reading it and almost started dancing when I finished the book. I would give it a 1/5 but I decided to be a bit nicer, since some parts are good, and give it a 2/5.