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The Mighty Miss Malone (2012)

by Christopher Paul Curtis

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1,2805214,693 (4.1)37
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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» See also 37 mentions

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Note: This isn't a sequel to [b:Bud Not Buddy|368468|Bud, Not Buddy|Christopher Paul Curtis|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320556016s/368468.jpg|358453], but a companion book that runs concurrent to the events in Bud Not Buddy.

I've been trying to read this for a few weeks now and it's just not holding my attention. I made it to page 164.

UPDATE: Bahni Turpin does the audiobook! I love her. So I will continue this as an audiobook.

Conclusion: Better as an audiobook (mostly because Bahni Turpin is the best--I loved her "second brain" voice). I think I expect too much from CPC. If this were by another author, I'd probably be impressed, but, IMHO, it's not as good as his other books. It's lacking in the plot department and I never for one second thought the letters were coming from Deza's father. Where it shines is the gritty portrayal of Depression-era scrapping. And CPC is uncommonly good at mixing the humorous and the serious.

What I will remember about this book: Deza describing cities by how they're "geologically located" and how Deza's father loves alliteration. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
Written by the same author of Bud, Not Buddy, The Mighty Miss by Christopher Paul Curtis is a youth historical fiction novel set in the Great Depression. The novel focuses on the story of Deza Malone, and her family's search for her father in Hooverville. There are plenty of examples of racism and microaggressions that can educate young students and the tie-in to a real historical place makes this book a perfect addition as a book report, or project about the Great Depression and/or Hooverville. ( )
  Djj024 | Nov 6, 2021 |
Profoundly wise, in multi-layered ways. Lovely yet tragic in that it captures the gradual, yet all too early, maturing of children who still should have years of childhood waiting. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression hits Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in Hooverville outside Flint, MI. The twists and turns of this story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone. A 2012 Newbery Award winner for middle school readers.
  BLTSbraille | Sep 18, 2021 |
This really started out whizbang...Deza has such a strong personality as it is, and it was only further glorified by Bahni Turpin's delivery. There wasn't any point that that particular aspect fizzled--it was interesting to get perspective from a young girl about the hardships particular to the African American community during the Depression Era--but the plot did slow down as the book progressed. As Betsy Bird mentions in her review, I, too, was pretty disappointed that Deza wasn't really given all that much agency (apart from her jaunt to Detroit) despite how smart we keep hearing she is. So many major events happened off-scene as well...you heard more about people recounting events rather than enacting them. I felt like the plot and character development at the beginning between the whole Mrs. Needham and Dr. Bracy situations would lead to something later in the book, but both were total dead ends. I'm not entirely sure why those were as drawn out as they were. Also, I thought we were all supposed to know that Jimmie was the one supplying the money the whole time, especially after his heart-to-heart with Deza in Detroit, but by the end, maybe we were supposed to have been as surprised as Deza?

TL;DR: Read this for the voice, not necessarily the plot. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
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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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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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