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The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul…

The Mighty Miss Malone (2012)

by Christopher Paul Curtis

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It's the spring of 1936, and America is in the grips of the Great Depression. Across the country, sports fans are hanging their hopes on the upcoming boxing bout between Joe Louis and German champion Max Schmeling. And in Gary, Indiana, Deza Malone's family is getting by, if only just. Her father was laid off at the factory, but her mother has a steady job cleaning for the manager of the local bank. Deza is busy with her normal pursuits: getting top marks in school and attempting to read every book in the Gary Public Library. But, in such precarious times, even a small disaster can topple a family's security. When one such disaster strikes the Malone family, can they rise above it?

I've really enjoyed every book I've read by Christopher Paul Curtis, and this was no exception. I found it a little darker and more sobering than some of his books, though it still contains sparks of his trademark humor. As always, Curtis has the ability to create characters one really cares about. I loved the family dynamics in the Malone family, and the way Curtis explored those dynamics as the family underwent trials and hardships. I listened to the audiobook version of this story, and narrator Bahni Turpin did an excellent job as always -- as I listen to more and more audiobooks, she is one of the names I'm starting to watch for. I highly recommend this book, especially as an audiobook. ( )
  foggidawn | Oct 9, 2014 |
This book made me cry. A story of a girl with so much potential, but her family's circumstances are her obstacles in life. ( )
  OliviaGarcia | Jul 24, 2014 |
I loved the mighty Miss Malone and wished I could continue to follow her story after the book ended. She is truly a wonderful, funny, inspiring character. The audio version of this book is outstanding as well.
  dcollins7984 | May 21, 2014 |
I did not like this book about Miss Malone only for the fact that it was boring. Learning about her family was very interesting, but I have read some better Biographies. There are no illustrations so it could be difficult for a child to understand the plot.

The message of the story is to learn about how some survived during the Great Depression era like Deza and her family did. ( )
  kwisem1 | Mar 6, 2014 |
Although THE WATSON'S GO TO BIRMINGHAM remains my favorite Christopher Paul Curtis novel, this one is right up there. He takes me into a world I know nothing about. This time of the 1930's Michigan black neighborhood as seen through the eyes of 12 year old Deza Malone. Her mom cleans houses. Her father is unemployed. If you want kids to empathize with children from history this is a book to have them read. It is terrible not to have money for clothes, have teeth with cavities that smell, eat cereal with worms in it. And it only gets worse. Dad leaves to find a job. Mom, Deza and her brother Jimmy are homeless and end up in a hobos camp. Yet, Deza never loses hope. She tells about her family's woes powerfully but with hope and exuberance at times. Her father disappears, her brother goes to sing in a speak-easy. But the family remains strong and there's powerful hope at the end of the book. The author's afterword about the Joe Louis and his boxing nemesis, the German Schmeling is a must read. I shared it with a fifth grade class and they clapped. I had no idea that Schmeling and Louis remained friends for life, or how important those boxing matches were to Americans and Germans. ( )
1 vote brangwinn | Jan 20, 2014 |
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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.


my brother,

Herman David Curtis. Hero. 1957-2011.

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.

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