Becoming Naomi Leon is a good contrast to Bud, Not Buddy. Bud is immediately catapulted into adulthood and stuck analyzing how adults act as well as dealing with loss in his life. The rules Bud disperses through the novel show the knowledge he has gained as a result of his mother’s early death. Bud did not have anyone protecting him from growing up too fast and had to learn on his own. On the other hand, Naomi has family members protecting her childhood and attempting to prevent her from growing up too early. At many points in the novel her issues are more similar to those a normal child faces rather than Bud’s protecting his only belongings.
This made me question which is more appropriate for a child. While obviously a child deserves to be naive and young, keeping things hidden can cause resentment like Naomi had when she learned the truth. With the differences in how Naomi and Bud learned about the hard times in their life, both showed great strength. This young strength seems to be a theme in much of children’s literature. Coraline exhibited strength as she won her parents back, Alice showed courage in the mysterious Wonderland pushing through adventures, and even Max in Where the Wild Things Are dreaming of a wild land full of scary creatures. The progression of strength in the imaginary to strength in reality mirrors the intended audience’s age progression. While Max exhibits courage in his dreams and Alice in an imaginary world, these novels are intended for a younger audience. Bud, Not Buddy and Becoming Naomi Leon are both meant for slightly older kids and thus are written about a more specific reality.