Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton (Paperback)

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Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton Cover Image
By Matt Phelan, Matt Phelan (Illustrator)
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Staff Reviews

The year is 1908, and a resident troupe of vaudeville performers is about the most exciting thing to happen in Muskegon, Michigan, since baseball. This charming graphic novel has beautiful, soft watercolor panels, clear and memorable faces, and a lovely narrative that will last more than a brief glance for young readers. It is based on some real life biographical information about Buster Keaton and his family. Matt Phelan is the author and artist of The Storm in the Barn and Around the World.

— Kim


Matt Phelan, graphic novelist extraordinaire, presents a rollicking tribute to vaudeville, small-town dreams, and Buster Keaton as a boy.

In the summer of 1908, in Muskegon, Michigan, a visiting troupe of vaudeville performers is about the most exciting thing since baseball. They're summering in nearby Bluffton, so Henry has a few months to ogle the elephant and the zebra, the tightrope walkers and -- lo and behold -- a slapstick actor his own age named Buster Keaton. The show folk say Buster is indestructible; his father throws him around as part of the act and the audience roars, while Buster never cracks a smile. Henry longs to learn to take a fall like Buster, "the human mop," but Buster just wants to play ball with Henry and his friends. With signature nostalgia, Scott O'Dell Award-winning graphic novelist Matt Phelan visualizes a bygone era with lustrous color, dynamic lines, and flawless dramatic pacing.

About the Author

Matt Phelan is the author-illustrator of the award-winning graphic novels The Storm in the Barn and Around the World. He is also the illustrator of Always and I'll Be There by Ann Stott and The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, winner of the Newbery Medal. He lives in Philadelphia.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780763687069
ISBN-10: 0763687065
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication Date: May 9th, 2017
Pages: 232
Language: English