Mary Ann's Reviews > The Mighty Miss Malone

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
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's review
Mar 07, 12

liked it
bookshelves: 4th, 5th, 6th, african-american, families, historical-fiction
Read from February 01 to 22, 2012

Deza Malone loves reading and dreams of being a writer, but life is throwing many obstacles in her path.  Her father has had trouble finding work for many months, as the Great Depression makes life hard for everyone in Gary, Indiana, especially African Americans. But the Malone family sticks together and supports each other. When her father is almost killed in a boating accident, he returns a drastically changed man. After slowly recovering, he leaves for Flint, Michigan in search of work. Deza’s mother, determined to reunite the family, takes Deza and her brother on the road to find their father in Flint. During a brief stay in a Hooverville camp on the outskirts of Flint, Deza meets a character readers will recognize as Bud Caldwell from Curtis’s 2000 Newbery winning book Bud, Not Buddy (Delacorte, 1999). Curtis renders the Great Depression with detail, connecting readers to this rich cast of characters. Small moments convey so much about characters and the times they live in. The overall plot structure is not as tight or well crafted as Bud, Not Buddy. Curtis uses a Deza’s over-eager school essay about her family to introduce the characters in the beginning of the novel, a technique that creates Deza’s voice but distances readers from the action at the heart of the story. In fact, much of the action in the story is carried out by Deza’s father, brother and mother as Deza watches or comments on the happenings. Nevertheless, Deza’s voice does reach many readers, shining through with her spirit in the face of adversity.

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Reading Progress

02/07/2012 page 73

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