Throughout the novel, Bud experiences an immense amount of heartache and setbacks as he journeys to find his father, Herman E. Calloway. When he finally arrives at Grand Rapids, he is taken in by Herman's band members and treated kindly. Miss Thomas shows sympathy for Bud and Steady Eddie treats him as a true friend. When everyone finds out that Bud is actually Herman's grandson, they are excited for him. In the final chapter, the band members give Bud his very own alto saxophone, and Steady Eddie tells him that he will start giving Bud lessons. Bud cheerfully takes his mother's belongings out of his suitcase because he realizes he's been carrying his mother's memories inside of him the entire time. Bud comments that the sound of his new saxophone is the sound of one door closing and another door opening. He is optimistic about his future. Bud is excited about learning to play a new instrument and feels like he is truly a part of a family. Bud finally finds a happy home, and he is surrounded by people who love him. The reader feels happy for Bud because he persevered through adversity and found joy in the end. Reading Bud, Not Buddy gives the reader hope that no matter how difficult life gets, one can find true happiness.