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The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul…
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The Mighty Miss Malone (2012)

by Christopher Paul Curtis

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Narrated by Bahni Turpin. Like many families during the Great Depression, Deza's family is having its struggles, especially after her father is injured in a boating accident. Roscoe Malone is forced to leave Gary, Indiana, to find work in Flint, Michigan. Deza and her mother and brother journey to Flint to find him, along the way living in a homeless camp for several months. Turpin gives a pert and sympathetic voice to Mighty Deza Malone, a smart little girl who just wants her family reunited. The James-Cagney-like voice Turpin gives Deza's conniving "second brain" is especially amusing. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
In the mid-1930's, Gary, Indiana, along with the rest of the nation, is still reeling from the great depression. Finding work is hard for everyone and a poor black man finds it harder than most. Roscoe Malone lives with his wife Peg, 12 year old daughter Deza and 14 year old son Jimmie. The family is desperately poor and very close-knit. Their attitude that the family is on a "journey to Wonderful" but it will prove to be a difficult road to get there. Roscoe, unable to find a job decides to return to his hometown of Flint, Michigan, to look for work. He promises to send for his family when he is settled but the family waits months for a letter but they have no news. Peg decides that she and the children should travel to Michigan to find Roscoe so at least they will all be together again. Deza is heartbroken to leave her home, friends and school, where she is a top student. Jimmie wants only to protect his mother and sister although his beautiful singing voice leads him to dream of a much shinier future. The three have no money for bus fare so they hop in a box car headed for Detroit. They spend several weeks living in a hobo camp just outside of Flint until Peg is able to find two jobs and can afford a small room in town for herself and the children. But, where is Roscoe? The family is desperate to find him but there are no clues to his whereabouts.

Deza is a great character with determination and heart enough for the entire Malone family. I liked all of the Malones quite a bit but Deza is certainly the star of the story. The book certainly pulls no punches about just how destitute so many people were in America during the 30's. I did find some of Deza's actions a bit unbelievable, for instance: leaving her mother a note to say she would be back in 2 days and then hopping a bus to travel 60 miles to look for her brother in a "speak-easy" - she was only 13 years old. I know times were different 80 years ago but that seems too dangerous for any decade. It was a book I really enjoyed and I highly recommend this young adult story to all.
( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
RGG: Not as wonderful as Bud, Not Buddy or The Watsons . . . The plot has a few holes and the characters besides Deza are less developed. But a strong female character and a desperate portrayal of the impact of the Great Depression on families even if Jimmie's role as savior seems very far fetched. Deza's mistaken use of vocabulary, the speech with a lisp, and the historical references make for a somewhat harder read. Reading Interest: 10-12.
  rgruberexcel | Dec 21, 2015 |
RGG: Not as wonderful as Bud, Not Buddy or The Watsons . . . The plot has a few holes and the characters besides Deza are less developed. But a strong female character and a desperate portrayal of the impact of the Great Depression on families even if Jimmie's role as savior seems very far fetched. Deza's mistaken use of vocabulary, the speech with a lisp, and the historical references make for a somewhat harder read. Reading Interest: 10-12.
  rgruberexcel | Dec 21, 2015 |
RGG: Not as wonderful as Bud, Not Buddy or The Watsons . . . The plot has a few holes and the characters besides Deza are less developed. But a strong female character and a desperate portrayal of the impact of the Great Depression on families even if Jimmie's role as savior seems very far fetched. Deza's mistaken use of vocabulary, the speech with a lisp, and the historical references make for a somewhat harder read. Reading Interest: 10-12.
  rgruberexcel | Dec 21, 2015 |
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Dedication
In memory of three of my heroes:

my uncle,

George Taylor,

Tuskegee Airman, Congressional Gold Medal wineer.

Hero. 1914-2008.

My friend

Harrison Edward Patrick. Hero. 1949-2010.

And

my brother,

Herman David Curtis. Hero. 1957-2011.
DEDICATION

There is a small archipelago off the eastern coast of Africa whose name escapes me at the moment. The name isn't the important part; the important part is the group of people who have inhabited these islands for millenia and developed a unique and thriving culture. Unfortunately, I can't recall what these people are called either, but once again that not really important.

What is important is the language these kind, peaceful people have developed. Linguists have noted that unlike other languages, which have developed out of practical necessity, this language is based on the description of emotions. The one word in this language that I want to focus on is the word for a Pavlovian type of behavior found in humans in which one action inevitably cause the same reaction. That word is aharuf, and it is translated as meaning the process by which the sight or thought of a particular person, place or object triggers an instantaneous lowering of the gnar (a concept most like blood pressure), a sharp rise in the Qarlo (most closely related to our understanding of endorphins) and an unavoidable beaming grin like that of the upper-paradise squink (a horselike quadraped very similar to the common American jackass).

After a long journey, I have found me aharuf, two people whom I cannot think about without splitting my face in a joyous smile. No matter what is going on around me, all I have to do is bring them to mind and I'm transported to a better place. They are my wife, Habon, and my daughter Ayaan.

This book is dedicated to Habon and Ayaan in, as Miss Malone might say, internal, undying gratitude for bringing me joy and guaranteeing that at the end of each day my cheeks will be sore from far too much smiling.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385734913, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month for Kids, January 2012: The Mighty Miss Malone is one Deza Malone--dedicated student and member of a close-knit family whose motto is “we are a family on a journey to a place called Wonderful.” Unfortunately, the Great Depression is taking a toll that journey, and when Deza’s father leaves in search of work, the rest of the family soon has no choice but to follow. Despite the hardships, loss, and racism that defined the times, Deza never loses faith in her dreams or flags in her devotion to bringing her family together again. Perseverance and kindness serve Deza well, and her story is a welcome new journey into familiar territory from award-winning author Christopher Paul Curtis. --Seira Wilson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:56 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

With love and determination befitting the "world's greatest family," twelve-year-old Deza Malone, her older brother Jimmie, and their parents endure tough times in Gary, Indiana, and later Flint, Michigan during the Great Depression.

» see all 2 descriptions

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