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Can You Guess That Grad?

Before becoming a Newbery Medal winner, what children’s book author would do his novel reading and writing while at work in a General Motors assembly facility? See the answer below.
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Photo by Jeffrey Beall

Coming out of high school, CHRISTOPHER PAUL CURTIS, ’00, enrolled in UM-Flint and got a job at the General Motors Fisher Body Plant No. 1. Though he would eventually leave U-M to work full time, this did not dampen his passion for the written word. Curtis and his co-worker alternated their work every 30 minutes, and it was during his breaks that Curtis catalyzed his craft. He published his first novel, “The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963” in 1995, and would go on to pen works including “Bud, Not Buddy,” which won the 2000 Newbery Medal for excellence in American children’s literature.

For a list of other notable U-M grads, visit

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