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Extended Audio Sample Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,872 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Christopher Paul Curtis Narrator: Mirron Willis Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis provides a child’s perspective on the horrors of slavery and the importance of freedom.

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 in his hometown as the boy who made a memorable impression on Frederick Douglass. But things change 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 he 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Winner of the 2008 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction
  • A 2009 ALA Odyssey Award Honor Audiobook
  • Winner of ALSC Notable Children's Recordings, 2009

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Wendy | 2/20/2014

    " Intriguing story based in a real place and a great boy book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Carmen | 1/29/2014

    " Elijah was the first African American child born free in Buxton. Through his innocent eyes we get a feel for all the characters in the book. While helping a family friend try to find a two timing preacher, Elijah witnesses firsthand what all of the older people on his settlement have fled. Slavery in the flesh. In this book, Elijah learns many lessons. This book would be a great supplement to learning about life on settlements during slavery. I would recommend it for grades 5-8. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Krystal | 1/28/2014

    " good historical fiction with strong characters and a vivid setting. the plot meanders at times, though. found myself wondering early on where the story was going. so glad i stuck with it. can't get some of the intense scenes out of my head. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kevin | 1/19/2014

    " "Elijah of Buxton" covers such a criminally neglected moment in American history--the years following emancipation. I think most public schools treat Emancipation as a clean business, a final triumph over slavery that allowed African-Americans finally to enter into white society. It wasn't so, of course, and "Elijah of Buxton" offers a poignant account of those difficult years. Elijah's voice reminds me of some of Faulkner's stronger characters: colorful, unique, and intensely introspective. And Curtis' historical world reminds me of Toni Morrison's Ohio in "Beloved." "Elijah of Buxton" would make a great companion piece to Southern and African-American literature classes in middle or high school; it's a fun read, and would be for students a stepping stone into more difficult American literature. "

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