Elijah of Buxton

By: Christopher Paul Curtis


Elijah and his friend Cooter are playing outside. The Preacher starts talking to them. He tells the about these snakes that have been brought into their town. They are called hoop snakes. If they bite you ,you blow up after a week of suffering. Elijah and Cooter get scared and both run home screaming.


Elijah- The main character. The first child born free in the town of Buxton. He is very fragile. Elijah is very talented at throwing rocks so hard that they can be used as a weapon.

Cooter- Elijah's best friend. Helps out around town.

The Preacher (Zepheria)- A mysterious man. Claims to be a "Preacher."

Mr. Leroy- A hard worker who chops down trees to earn money so he can buy his family. Elijah is his helper.

Mrs. Holton- A women who Mr. Leroy works for. Her husband is a slave in which she is trying to get free.

Theodore- A trustworthy man. He tries to help Mr. Leroy get his family back.

Emma Collins- A girl in Elijah's class at school. She is even more fragile then Elijah.

Ma-Wee- A boy that the Preacher and Elijah met at the carnival. Is almost a slave for the carnival.

Main Conflict:

The Preacher is taking all of Mr. Leroy's money to go buy his family. Theodor goes with him to make sure he doesn't do anything stupid because he is not always a trustworthy man. Later, Theodor comes back in the back of a carriage with a gun wound, the Preacher had shot him. Now, Mr. Leroy's money is out in America with a crazy man. Mr. Leroy gets furious and takes Elijah to go with him to find and kill the Preacher.


  • Elijah was the first free born slave in Buxton.
  • Elijah's mom and Emma Collin's mom were competing to see who would have their child first.
  • The Preacher takes a bunch of Elijah's fish.
  • The Preacher sees Elijah's talent in throwing rocks.
  • The Preacher convinces Elijah to go to the carnival with him to show off his talent.
  • When they get back from the carnival Elijah found out that the Preacher had gone back and freed Ma-Wee because he was being treated badly.
  • Mrs. Holton's husband has died.
  • Mr. Leroy makes her a sign for above her to door to remember her husband.
  • She pays him by giving him enough gold coins to buy his whole family.
  • The Preacher and Theodor go to buy Mr. Leroy's family.
  • Later, a carriage comes back with injured Theodor in it saying he has been shot by Zepheria (The Preacher).
  • Mr. Leroy captures Elijah and makes him go to America with him to find The Preacher, get his money back, and kill him.
  • Mr. Leroy dies and Elijah is left alone to find The Preacher.
  • Elijah ends ups finding five slaves that have been captured and a baby.
  • Elijah takes the baby, with the parents permission, and brings it back to Buxton saving the baby's life.


"But what's worst is when Ma quits talking and starts and starts doing something to make a lesson permanent. The first time she tried to make me quit being fra-gile I didn't even know she was doing it, but that's the one lesson that's stuck with me so good that it seems like it happened yesterday and not a long time ago." (Curtis,11)
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Works Cited:

Curtis, Christopher Paul. Elijah of Buxton. United States: Scholastic Inc. 2007. Print.


Bird, Elizabeth. "Top 100 Children’s Novels #60: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis." A Fuse 8 Production. School Library Journal, 2016. Web. 11 Apr. 2016. <http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2012/05/24/top-100-childrens-novels-60-bud-not-buddy-by-christopher-paul-curtis/#_>.

"Christopher Paul Curtis's Biography." Scholastic Teachers. Scholastic, 2016. Web. 11 Apr. 2016. <http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/contributor/christopher-paul-curtis>.