Elijah of Buxton

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Elijah of Buxton
Author Christopher Paul Curtis
Country United States
Language English
Genre Historical fiction
Published 2007, Scholastic
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 341
Awards Newbery Honor
ISBN 0-439-02344-0
OCLC 86090238
LC Class PZ7.C94137 El 2007
Followed by The Madman of Piney Woods

Elijah of Buxton is an award winning children's novel written by Christopher Paul Curtis and published in 2007.


Elijah of Buxton is about an eleven-year-old boy, Elijah Freeman, who lives in Buxton, Canada. It was started as the Elgin Settlement, a refugee camp for African-American slaves who escaped via the Underground Railroad to gain freedom in Canada. Elijah is the first free-born child in the settlement, and has never lived under slavery. He has only heard of it. He goes into the United States to help stop a man from his settlement from stealing money from his friend, and learns there that it is a privilege to be free.


Elijah of Buxton has been well received. The School Library Journal called it "an example of everything Curtis does well. His historical research is superior. His characters heartwarming. His prose funny and heart-wrenching in turns." and "A great book and well deserving of any buzz it happens to achieve."[1] Kirkus Reviews gave a star review, declaring "This is Curtis’s best novel yet, and no doubt many readers, young and old, will finish and say, “This is one of the best books I have ever read.”"[2]

Publishers Weekly wrote "The arresting historical setting and physical comedy signal classic Curtis (Bud, Not Buddy ), but while Elijah's boyish voice represents the Newbery Medalist at his finest, the story unspools at so leisurely a pace that kids might easily lose interest." and "The powerful ending is violent and unsettling, yet also manages to be uplifting."[3] Common Sense Media awarded it five stars, calling it a "humorous, powerful, masterful escape-slave tale" and asserted "This wonderful, moving novel is sure to become a staple of discussion groups in schools and libraries across the country."[4]


It has won a number of awards including a 2008 Newbery Honor,[5] the 2008 Coretta Scott King Award,[6] the 2008 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction,[7] and the 2008 Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award[8]


  1. ^ Elizabeth Bird (28 June 2007). "Review of the Day: Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis". www.slj.com. School Library Journal. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Elijah of Buxton". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "Elijah of Buxton". www.publishersweekly.com. PWxyz LLC. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Elijah of Buxton". www.commonsensemedia.org. Common Sense Media Inc. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922-Present | Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)". American Library Association. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  6. ^ "Coretta Scott King Book Award Recipients | Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT)". American Library Association. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  7. ^ http://www.scottodell.com/pages/ScottO'DellAwardforHistoricalFiction.aspx
  8. ^ "Canadian Library Association | Book of the Year for Children Award". Cla.ca. 2005-04-19. Retrieved 2014-04-14.