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The Mighty Miss Malone

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  14,594 ratings  ·  1,349 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
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abbygrigsby well there are three hundred twenty pages but i do not know how many words there are.
well there are three hundred twenty pages but i do not know how many words there are.

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  14,594 ratings  ·  1,349 reviews

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Caz (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
When Larry McMurtry wrote Moving On, the first novel of what would later became his Houston series, he introduced a “B character,” a friend's mother, named Aurora Greenway, a young widow with a highly comical habit of parking her giant Cadillac yards from the curb so she wouldn't scrape its pretty tires. This friend's mother appears in only two scenes of that novel, but she captured Mr. McMurtry's attention to the extent that he could not stop thinking about her. The only solution, ultimately, w ...more
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.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This lovely little lady is a charmer, and her family is gorgeous as they navigate the bitter and the sweet of life together (and sometimes... apart).
A very good read!
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
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! ...more
Mar 19, 2019 added it
Such a moving book, I loved it soooooooooooooo much, if you like inspiring books, READ IT.
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. ...more
"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
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I absolutely loved the characters in this book, especially Deza. Curtis is a master at depicting the intimacies of family life. I enjoyed the way the Malone family interacted so much that I wished I could become one of them. All the characters in the book were interesting, even the not-so-nice ones.

Father was a complicated character. He loved his family but at the same time seemed uncertain that they would love him back. If he really loved and trusted them to accept him no matter what, he would
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has many good, some intense themes. It made a great read-aloud and we could discuss things as they came up.
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
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
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
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
Sachi Parikh
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun book to read. Yes I said fun. You might not think that due to the subject matter, but yet it was.

I loved the way the characters integrated into each other’s life’s. It was joyful yet sorrowful. They had a depth that most books made for this reading level don’t have.

To see the Great Depression in a new light was educational and thought provoking. It showed a different perspective when told through the eyes of a pre-teen on her way to a teen. It deals with racism on a minor level. I
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
Suzanne Lilly
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
I just finished "The Mighty Miss Malone" by Christopher Paul Curtis. This is set in Gary, Indiana and Flint, Michigan during the Great Depression. It's the story of a family so full of love, that despite the hardships they endure, riding the rails and living in a Hooverville, they still say they're on the "road to Wonderful." The MC is a gifted young girl and the story is told from the lens of her viewpoint. However, Christopher Paul Curtis is so talented, that we can also see the viewpoint and ...more
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. ...more
Donna Craig
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the most amazing books I've ever read. Definitely not just for younger audiences. I am completely in love with this girl. I laughed, I cried, it moved me. I highly recommend this book about a young girl with an unsinkable attitude that makes her a winner in the midst of the depression. Pure bliss. ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Mighty Miss Malone / Christopher Paul Curtis - 4**** 3 16 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

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“There's a thin, blurry line between humor and tragedy.” 12 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.” 11 likes
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