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The Mighty Miss Malone

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  11,395 Ratings  ·  1,064 Reviews
“We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful” is the motto of Deza Malone’s family.

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 hit 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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Wendy Lamb Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Abby well there are three hundred twenty pages but i do not know how many words there are.

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Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
I actually said "awww" out loud in disappointment when the story ended. I wanted more! I was so drawn to Miss Deza Malone, I could have listened to her speak all day long.

I loved how she told stories and spoke with such love and pride about her family. I loved seeing her interact with the people around her. I loved her love for reading and writing. Mostly, I loved seeing the experiences of the Malone's, an African American family affected by the devastation of the Great Depression, through the
All I know now is, I will never disrespect money again. Period.

Have you ever imagined what life would be like if you were gravely poor? To have to suffer worm and bug infested oatmeal because that's the only way you'll ever make your three meals a day, or endure endless, painful bites of stones through your sole less shoes because it's either that or no shoes at all? Have you ever imagined a life of impoverishment? I'm a hypocrite. I know I say I love books that indulge all my faculties, books t
Bonnie Cassidy
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My 5th grade daughter was a few chapters into this book when she told me I "had to read it." The book tackles issues (race, poverty, literacy) in a way that is accessible to young people and provided me with a valuable entry point for discussing these issues with my daughter and her friends. My daughter is an avid reader, and she was struck by one passage in which Deza, also an avid reader, starts to lose her love of reading because she can't relate to any of the characters in the books she is r ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an enjoyable read! This is story of Deza Malone, an intelligent, vivacious, African American 12-year-old girl, trying to survive the Great Depression with her family. I enjoyed it very much and learned a lot too :)
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

I am absurdly delighted to be writing this review because books like The Mighty Miss Malone are extremely rare in their awesomeness. I loved it. I LOVED IT. I heart Deza Malone with the fire of a thousand suns.

Here is why, in a nutshell:

The storytelling is fabulous: it has great moments, sad moments, and happy moments. It is a great story because it is a story about a family at its heart, and about a country, in the great scheme of things. It is a histor
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing! I love the writing to it and everything. I feel really bad for the main character because she has go face many struggles in life and sometimes she can't fix them, but it gets really good and has a great ending to it. I LOVE this book!
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: girls-book-club
"We are a family on a journey to a place called Wonderful."

Thus concludes an essay written by the Mighty Miss Malone and Chapter One of this insightful book written about a black family struggling to survive during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

We read this book for my girls' book club, made up mostly of 6th and 7th graders. I loved it. Deza Malone is magnetic, her parents are wise, and her brother is endearing. Add to that the delightful, almost poetic prose and the engaging story line and
Book Concierge
In Bud, Not Buddy, Bud met a precocious girl at a camp next to a railroad track near Flint, Michigan. That girl was Deza Malone and this is her story.

It’s the Great Depression, and times are hard in Gary, Indiana, where the Malone family lives. Mr Malone has a hard time finding work; the few jobs available don’t go to black men like him. He makes the difficult decision to leave for Flint, Michigan, where he’s heard there may be a job. But when the family doesn’t hear from him for weeks, Mrs Malo
Michelle Isenhoff
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this one! It has everything in it that I appreciate about children’s literature: style, humor, beauty, depth—even history! I have absolutely no complaints about the story. It does have some incorrect grammar and spellings, but that’s because it’s written from the firsthand perspective of twelve-year-old Deza Malone. I don’t like such inaccuracies in books written for young children (like Junie B. Jones, by Barbara Park), but by fifth grade, the approximate reading level I’d give this one ...more
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed here.

Listen close, because when you pick up the audio for Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Mighty Miss Malone, you are on a journey to a place called Wonderful. Set during the Great Depression, and featuring a struggling African American family, The Mighty Miss Malone had so many opportunities to be tragic and heart wrenching, but it didn’t take them. Instead, The Mighty Miss Malone was one of the most warm, welcoming, delightful reads I have had in some time, and I have no qual
Soraya Laboy
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Set during the Great Depression of the 1930s, Curtis has gifted us with a powerful- a mighty -African American family. We see everything through 12 yr old Deza's eyes. It's a touching story about a family who is doing the best they can to stay loyal, loving, and true in spite of difficult circumstances.
"If I ever give one-half a hoot what a lot of other people are saying, you have my permission to slap me silly." -Deza pg 4

"Nothing is as obvious as we want to believe it is. There are different shades and interpretations to every story." pg 302
Linda Lipko
Slated as a possible 2013 Newbery medal winner, this book is well deserving of that honor...if indeed it is chosen.

A stand alone sequel to Bud, Not Buddy, the character of Deza Malone was first introduced in that book.

Life was brutal during the depression, and exceedingly so for poor black families. Work was hard to find and the author accurately portrays the difficulty of finding work if you were white, and almost impossible, if your skin color was black.

Poor in finances, but rich in the solida
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Mixed feelings. There are parts of this that are lovely--not just "shining moments", but threads woven throughout, and excellence in description over all. But I thought the plot didn't live up to the rest of it. Books about people who have good things happen to them because they're somehow "special" often rub me the wrong way, and I want to know what happened with Deza's more ordinary friend Clarice more than I want to read about the two most talented kids in Gary who will go far in life etc. Th ...more
The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis is one of my absolute favorite historical fiction books. I felt as if the book was written for me, and I was Deza. I enjoyed the ups and grieved the downs.

Deza Malone, a smart girl growing up in Gary, Indiana, has an easygoing life compared to lives of others during the Great Depression, except the fact that her father doesn’t have a job. But a tragic accident turns Deza’s privileged life around. Her father decides to go on a fishing trip with
Laura Salas
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I always think I'm not a historical fiction fan until a writer brings a story to life for me. And then I am.

Christopher Paul Curtis does it again. Deza Malone lives in Michigan in the 1930s. Her family is poor but hardworking and funny. Deza's older (but smaller) brother, Jimmie, keeps things...interesting. And the father is quite a wonderful storyteller (just like CPC, based on the two times I've heard him speak!). Deza is smart and tries really hard to be the smartest person possible. And Deza
Logan Magic
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book sounds like it takes place when the white hated the black im not sure though. this book is about Deza malone, a very intellagent 12 year old who is an exallent writer. Deza has a brother, Jimmy who is an amazing singer and eventually is found by mr.z and leaves his family. Deza and her family lived in a town called gary but had to move to flint because the father had to find a new job there but, eventually they have to move again. in the end jimmy comes back and everythings pretty norm ...more
Anne Gray
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, young-adult
I just finished The Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis. A terrific book about a young girl and her brother during the Great Depression, trying to help their mom after their dad suffers a tragic incident and disappears. Complex issues of class and race are gracefully and thoughtfully illustrated in this touching and ultimately uplifting story, narrated by the ever so humble (not!) Miss Malone.

I was especially interested to note that the father in this story was born in Flint, Michigan
Deza Malone is the kind of character who jumps right into your heart and makes camp there.

Yes, this is a wonderful historical fiction book about the devastating effects of the Depression on families in the American Midwest - especially African American families. The casually racist ways that adults speak to Deza spoke volumes about the institutionalized attitudes of the day. More than that, though, this is a book about a whip smart little girl who treasures books, her family, and has boundless
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
If anyone ever says that Historical fiction is dry and boring, then they haven't read Christopher Paul Curtis and they haven't met Deza Malone. Curtis creates characters that are memorable. Characters that stay with you and keep begging to be your friend. You can't read this book without falling for the Mighty Miss Malone and wanting to get to know her a little better. Her strength and passionate spirit will have you cheering for her at all times.
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is spectacular and emotional and full of optimism and thoughtfulness. I'm so glad I picked it up. I'm so going to teach this.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: authors-of-color
The Mighty Miss Malone took me through so many emotions. It is the story about a family trying to survive the Great Depression and the heart-breaking difficult choices that people trapped in the cruel grip of poverty have to make. This book touched on so many issues: race, poverty, homelessness, hunger, love, hope, dreams, and the resiliency of the human spirit.

This book made me laugh, it made me angry, it made me cry tears of sadness and tears of joy. I would go so far as to call this book his
Mr. Gottshalk
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a terrific book! I was not familiar with the author - but anyone who won both the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award should be worthy of reading. This book takes place during the Depression, and really highlights how horrible African Americans had it just trying to find work, places to live, clothes to wear and food to eat.
What is truly enjoyable, I believe, is the way the Mighty Miss Malone tells her family's story. It is upbeat and positive, despite how awful things are around
Trudy Brasure
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A twelve year-old black female protagonist lets us in to the world of school, friendships, and family during the Great Depression. Part of the story takes place in Flint, Michigan -- a potent reminder that the issues in this story still face many families today.
Deza Malone is a voracious reader and aspiring young writer who loves English class! The world would do well to recall that young minds like this come in all sorts of outside packages. And we should be watching out for these promising ki
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I wanted to like this book, but I couldn't quite manage it. The characters and events aren't convincing; oh, not the poverty aspect of it (which I know about) or the race aspect. But the author, a 21st century man, tries to squeeze himself into the mind of a 12-14 year old girl in the 1930s, and it simply doesn't work. Perhaps that's why Deza comes off as overly precious. I know all about the fascination of the thesaurus and the dictionary, and the horrible effect it has on adolescent writing. I ...more
Mary-Lynn Kebker
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Have you ever wondered what life as like during the Great Depression? Well, Christopher Paul Curtis does a wonderful job creating a mental picture about one family when you read The Mighty Miss Malone. The Malone family has heartbreak after heart break and they are trying to persevere through everything that is throw at them. After taking you through an emotional journey of everything they endured. Eventually Curtis shows the reader how hard work, dedication to one’s family, and courage can pay ...more
I was so excited when I saw this gem sitting on the new book shelf at work! I am a huge fan of Christopher Paul Curtis’ work, and I couldn’t wait to dig into another chunk of history with him. Curtis has a way of bringing the time period he is writing about to life for his readers. His characters are more than just “people on a page,” they feel like friends. This book centers around the character of Deza Malone, or as her Daddy calls her “Darling Daughter Deza.”

We readers have met Deza before in
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Elementary School Teachers
Shelves: children-fiction
The Mighty Miss Malone, Bud Not Buddy, The Watsons Go To Birmingham. What do these books have in common, besides a great children’s literature author? They have history, social studies, suspense, humor and heartwarmingly hopeful stories. At a time when children’s literature is inundated with fearful characters and dystopian landscapes, in books that masquerade in this genre, but border on Young Adult, Christopher Paul Curtis saves the day.

Schools throughout the United States are now introducing
Jo Sorrell
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: newbery-2013
The Mighty Miss Malone is one of those books you know the end is coming but don't want the story to end. I felt like I knew each of the Malones. Jimmie, 15 years old, is a good kid, not great kid, but that boy can sing. Deza is 12 and the smartest kid in and loves her teacher. A sad set of circumstances force Mother and Deza to move to Flint, Michigan. Here she is in school with black and white students. All the teachers are white and they will not give a grade better than a C to a black child, ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Mighty Miss Malone / Christopher Paul Curtis - 4**** 3 12 May 09, 2017 11:57AM  
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Curtis was born in Flint, Michigan on May 10, 1953 to Dr. Herman Elmer Curtis, a chiropodist, and Leslie Jane Curtis, an educator. The city of Flint plays an important role in many of Curtis's books. One such example is Bucking the Sarge, which is about a fifteen year old boy named Luther T. Ferrel, who is in a running battle with his slum-lord mother. Curtis is an alumnus of the University of Mic ...more
More about Christopher Paul Curtis...
“There's a thin, blurry line between humor and tragedy.” 9 likes
“. . . people use tricks to get you to think the way they do or take away something you have that they want. One way they do that is to interrupt your normal way of thinking and take you by the hand and guide you down the path they want you to take. Father says they make you take a teeny-weeny step in their direction, and then they start to nudge you a little further down the path and before you know it, you're running full speed with them in a direction that you probably wouldn't have gone alone.” 8 likes
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