What are the five survival and five thriving rules in Bud, Not Buddy?

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In "Bud, Not Buddy", Bud uses five rules to survive: Rule #3 advises simple, memorable lies; Rule #87 warns of adults' ulterior motives; Rule #29 suggests feigning sleep when unsure of the situation; Rule #8 encourages running from calm-voiced adults, implying danger; Rule #63 advises against badmouthing strangers to avoid conflicts. Five rules help him thrive: Rule #118 suggests giving adults something inconsequential they can take away; Rule #328 encourages swift action on decisions; Rule #83 warns to worry when told not to; Rule #16 prepares for bad news following "Haven't you heard"; Rule #39 suggests the older you get, the worse something must be to make you cry.

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Bud creates a list of rules that he lives by, which helps him survive and thrive in life. The following five rules help Bud survive in the world on his own:

  • Rule #3 helps Bud avoid getting into trouble for lying. Rule #3 is "If You Got to Tell a Lie Make Sure It's Simple and Easy to Remember."
  • Rule #87 helps Bud avoid being "tricked" and reminds him that adults typically have ulterior motives when they ask for help. Rules #87 is "When a Adult Tells You They Need Your Help With a Problem Get Ready to Be Tricked—Most Times This Means They Just Want You to Go Fetch Something for Them."
  • Rule #29 helps Bud survive by giving himself additional time to plan his next move before he wakes up in front of adults. Rule #29 is "When You Wake Up and Don't Know for Sure Where You're. At end There's a Bunch of people Standing Around You. It's Best to pretend You're Still Asleep, Until You Can Figure Out What's Going On and What You Should Do."
  • Rule #8 gives Bud an opportunity to run away from adults before he can be harmed or arrested. Rule #8 is "Whenever a Adult Tells You to Listen Carefully and Talks to You in a Real Calm Voice Do Not Listen, Run as Fast as You Can Because Something Real Terrible Is Just Around the Corner. Especially If the Cops Are Chasing You."
  • Rule #63 helps Bud survive precarious situations by reminding him to never say anything negative about others around people he does not know. Rule #63 is "Never, Ever Say Something Bad About Someone You Don't Know—Especially When You're Around a Bunch of Strangers. You Never Can Tell Who Might Be Kin to That Person or Who Might Be a Lip-Flapping, Big-Mouth Spy."

The following rules help Bud thrive in life by protecting his emotions and reminding him to avoid compromising situations.

  • Rule #118 helps Bud deceive adults and manipulate them into giving him exactly what he desires. Rule #118 is "You Have To Give The Adults Something That They Think They Can Use To Hurt You By Taking It Away. That Way They Might Not Take Something Away That You Really Do Want Unless They Are Crazy Or Real Stupid. They Won’t Take Everything Because If They Did They Wouldn’t Have Anything Left To Hold Over Your Head To Hurt You With Later."
  • Rule #328 allows Bud to thrive by encouraging him to follow his instincts and make the right life choices. Rule #328 is "When You Make Up Your Mind to Do Something, Hurry Up and Do It, If You Wait You Might Talk Yourself Out or What You Wanted in the First Place."
  • Rule #83 helps Bud psychologically prepare himself to accept bad news. Rule #83 is "If an Adult Tells You Not to Worry, and You Weren't Worried Before, You Better Hurry Up and Start 'Cause You're Already Running Late."
  • Rule #16 also deals with Bud's ability to prepare himself to receive bad news. Bud does not want to be caught off guard by seemingly harmless phrases and keeps his guard up to avoid being emotionally scarred. Rule #16 is "If a Grown-up Ever Starts a Sentence by Saying "Haven't You Heard," Get Ready, 'Cause What's About to Come Out of Their Mouth Is Gonna Drop You Head first into a Boiling Tragedy."
  • Rule #39 allows Bud to emotionally prepare himself to deal with an adult who is crying. Rule #39 is "The Older You Get, the Worse Something Has to Be to Make You Cry."
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Bud lives by a set of rules he has composed titled "Rules and Things for a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself." Some of these rules were adapted from bits of wisdom his mother passed down to him and some are his own thoughts.

These rules could be categorized into those that help Bud survive and those that help Bud thrive.

Five rules that help Bud survive are:

#3 If you got to tell a lie, make sure it’s simple and easy to remember.

#16 If a grown-up ever starts a sentence by saying “Haven’t you heard,” get ready, ’cause what’s about to come out of their mouth is gonna drop you head first into boiling tragedy.

#29 When you wake up and don’t know for sure where you are at and there’s a bunch of people standing around you, it’s best to pretend you’re still asleep until you can figure out what’s going on and what you should do.

#8 Whenever an adult tells you to listen carefully and talks to you in a real calm voice do not listen, run as fast as you can because something terrible is just around the corner.

#63 Never, ever say something bad about someone you don’t know—especially when you’re around a bunch of strangers. You never can tell who might be kin to that person or who might be a lip-flapping, big-mouth spy.

Five rules that help Bud thrive are:

#39 The older you get, the worse something has to be to make you cry.

#87 When an adult tells you they need your help with a problem get ready to be tricked—most times this means they just want you to go fetch something for them.

#328 When you make up your mind to do something, hurry up and do it, if you wait you might talk yourself out of what you wanted in the first place.

#83 If a adult tells you not to worry, and you weren’t worried before, you better hurry up and start ’cause you’re already running late.

#118 You have to give adults something that they think they can use to hurt you by taking it away. That way they might not take something away that you really do want.

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In Bud, Not Buddy, what are the most important rules that help Bud survive?

Throughout Bud's journey to Grand Rapids to find Herman Calloway, who ends up being his grandfather, Bud lives by a set of rules he created to help him survive as a homeless orphan during the Depression. Bud mentions several rules that help him maneuver safely through life and serve as warnings to avoid precarious situations. Bud's rules also protect his emotions and help him psychologically prepare himself for certain situations.

In chapter 13, Bud is eating with Herman Calloway's band members, who caution Bud not to call Herman "Daddy" or "Poppa." Bud accidentally responds by referring to Herman as a "mean old coot," and immediately slaps his hand over his mouth. Bud then recalls Rule Number 63, which is "Never, Ever Say Something Bad About Someone You Don't Know—Especially When You're Around a Bunch of Strangers. You Never Can Tell Who Might Be Kin to That Person or Who Might Be a Lip-Flapping, Big-Mouth Spy" (Curtis, 98). This rule allows Bud to avoid precarious situations with other people by warning him to avoid saying negative things about certain people in front of strangers. Bud knows from experience that there is a possibility that he can offend someone, which will only cause more drama in his life.

After Herman learns about his daughter's death, he becomes emotional, and Bud sees him crying. Bud then recalls Rule Number 39, which is "The Older You Get, the Worse Something Has to Be to Make You Cry" (Curtis, 135). This rule allows Bud to recognize and understand adults better. Bud knows that Herman Calloway must be seriously suffering because he is crying, which is rare for adults. This rule also allows Bud to sympathize with Herman, and Bud realizes that he is stuck "square in the middle of one of those boiling tragedies."

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In Bud, Not Buddy, what are the most important rules that help Bud survive?

Bud has an entire book of rules and thoughts that he lives by. These rules are inserted throughout the story. One of the first things we learn about Bud is that his mother had a huge influence on how he thinks, even though Bud was only six when she died.
One of the things his mother repeated to him often was:
"When one door closes, another door opens."
This definitely helped Bud to survive psychologically and physically. Most adults would have given up if facing the same elements Bud did. However, each time Bud had to face a new obstacle, he would remember his mother's wisdom and go in search of another open door.
Some of Bud's own rules that help him to survive include:
"Rule 39 - The older you get, the worse something has to be to make you cry."
This helps Bud to understand how his grandfather truly feels when the truth comes out and he realizes that Bud really is his grandson. He hears his grandfather cry for the first time and realizes that he has a heart behind that mean exterior.
"Rule 29 - When you wake up and don't know for sure where you are at and there's a bunch of people standing around you, it's best to pretend you're still asleep until you can figure out what's going on."
This is how Bud survives the uncertainties of his daily life. At times, because of his constantly changing situation, Bud is not sure where he is when he wakes up. Several times during the story, Bud listens carefully to his surroundings and the people talking around him before acting.
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How do Bud's rules help him survive in Bud, Not Buddy?

In Christopher Paul Curtis's Bud, Not Buddy, Bud's rules help him to survive by reminding him to be wary of adults and to be prepared for disappointment and difficulties.

Bud describes his rules as "the things I think of all the time and try to remember so I don't make the same mistake more than seven or eight times." He has memorized these useful maxims carefully and given them the title:

Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.

This title is misleading. First, despite Bud's flippant tone, most of the rules he tells the reader are concerned with survival, not with having fun. Second, they are principally ways of dealing with the dishonesty of adults rather than becoming a better liar oneself.

Rule 83, for instance, states that if an adult tells you not to worry, you should start worrying. Bud continually has to deal with disappointment and dishonesty, as well as outright hostility, in the poverty-stricken landscape through which he travels. These disappointments begin on the first page of the novel, when he is separated from his friend Jerry and dispatched to a new and hostile environment with the Amos family.

The trite maxims that Bud's mother taught him—that whenever one door closes another opens, for instance—prove untrue, and he has to come up with his own tougher philosophy to face such antagonists as Todd and, for a time, Herman. Rule 8 (out of at least 328) is curiously specific and shows that Bud has faced violence more often than most boys of his age:

Whenever an Adult Tells You to Listen Carefully and Talks to You in a Real Calm Voice Do Not Listen, Run as Fast as You Can Because Something Real Terrible Is Just Around the Corner. Especially If the Cops Are Chasing You.

Bud's precarious situation and his lack of a family make such rules necessary for survival as he makes his difficult journey across Michigan.

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What is the most important rule in Bud, Not Buddy?

I wish that I could give you a definitive answer, but that is just not possible.  Bud Caldwell doesn't rank his "Rules and Things to Have a Funner Life and Make a Better Liar Out of Yourself."  He numbers his rules for sure, but they are not ordered in any sort of hierarchy.  In fact, as the book progresses, it becomes clear that Bud just makes up a number to go along with whatever rule that he is about to give the reader.  That suspicion should start creeping into a reader's mind when Bud brings up rule number 328.  Really?  328?  That's a lot of rules that Bud supposedly has memorized.  But late in the story, Bud reminds readers about rule number 547.  The reader has never encountered that number before, but Bud says that he already told the reader about the "worry" rule.  

The first thing to worry about was Rules and Things number 547, or something, that was the one about when a adult tells you, "Don't worry."

You can see from the quote that Bud can't remember exactly which rule number the rule really is.  The "worry rule" that Bud is talking about was actually rule number 83.  

If an Adult Tells You Not to Worry, and You Weren't Worried Before, You Better Hurry Up and Start 'Cause You're Already Running Late.

As you can see, I would like to tell you that Bud has a specific number and rule in mind, but the numbers keep changing.  Bud also never says that a particular rule is more important than any other rule.  To Bud, each rule is very situational.  So the most important rule to Bud will be the rule that best applies to the situation that he is in currently.  

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