Buddy’s year of adventures is complete.
"SpringRush", the final chapter in The Adventures of Buddy Williams series, is now available to readers, and in celebration of its release, author Ken Budd, a retired teacher, will venture across Western Canada this fall on a promotional tour.
Over a three-month period, Budd will sign books at five-dozen Indigo, Chapters and Coles — and some independent bookstores, from Victoria to Winnipeg and throughout the four western provinces.
A complete tour itinerary is available on www.summerwild.ca.
The series of four novels — "SummerWild", "FallGently", "WinterFree"and"SpringRush", follows the exploits of 11-year-old Buddy from the fictitious community of Buffalo Crossing through a year of his life that spans 1953 and ’54.
His cohorts, Métis lad Riel Belliveau and pampered weakling Mortimer "Mokey" Stackhouse, join Buddy for adventures in Nature, where they often end up at odds with their parents’ edicts to be safe. As a result, these excursions test family dynamics, leaving Buddy to continually endeavour to ameliorate frustrations he causes his extended family.
The first instalment,"SummerWild," sees the cast enjoying summer at the lake, where Buddy discovers revelations in the natural world, experiences his first tragedy, and meets Cree teenager Joe Starblanket.
In "FallGently", the boys return to school to find that a new teacher, whom they nickname The Red Witch, can make school time feel like a prison sentence, even though principal "Army" Armitage does his best to deflate explosive situations. Later, Buddy comes face-to-face with his greatest loss ever and is presented with challenges that grow from that loss.
Stuck in a downward spiral, Buddy cannot seem to avoid making grave errors in judgement throughout "WinterFree". These poor choices almost destroy the fundamental beliefs he has always counted on. Even religion cannot offer salvation.
Finally, "SpringRush" creates opportunities for Buddy to redeem himself while testing whether he has the mettle to salvage his own future.
Born and raised until his teens in North Battleford, Sask., Ken Budd’s own fond memories of life on the Prairies became the impetus for the series, assisted by a summer of practising creative writing at the Banff Centre with W.O. Mitchell.
Set in the early ’50s, the novels look at a different time in Canada, inviting readers to reflect on how our customs and values have changed — some dramatically.
Worthy of study in educational settings, each novel is accompanied by Student Study Guides, co-authored by educator Robert Marthaller.
The themes and values evident in the books are appropriate for a wide range of maturities and skill sets, including public and private grade schools, alternative programs, home-schooled students, and advanced ESL studies.
Indeed, older folk have recognized incidents in the series that evoke memories of their own childhoods, and are enlivened by the reminiscing they get to enjoy.
The novels are available at Chapters, Indigo and Coles Bookstores in the Local Interest section, online at Chapters.ca and SummerWild.ca, or as e-Books through Chapters, Kobo and Amazon.