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The Mighty Miss Malone (2012)

por Christopher Paul Curtis

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8724818,143 (4.11)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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Mostrando 1-5 de 48 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I am totally in love with this book, even though it broke my heart. Gah, Feelings. (Better review TBD after the Feelings turn into regular feelings that I can articulate.) ( )
  AnnaWaffles | Aug 28, 2020 |
Right out the gate, I'd like to say that Ms. Turpin should perform all the audiobooks. This was the most exceptional single-narrator performance I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. She had me utterly convinced throughout that every character and every emotion was real. I couldn't honestly tell you how much of the book was amazing because Mr. Curtis is an exceptional author and how much was because she nailed the performance.

As for the story itself, it is a magnificent piece of middle-grade historical fiction. It weaves the suffering of the Great Depression, especially as experienced by African Americans, into a powerful narrative of one family's struggle to survive. It also touches on the significance of the 1936 boxing match between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. It is heartbreaking at times and uplifting at others. It speaks to the power of hope, family, optimism, and perseverance. It examines the racism of the time through a prism that allows you to better see the racism of our time. This may well be one of the finest works of children's historical fiction ever produced. Adults would be remiss to bypass this one simply because of the reading level.

Do NOT skip the afterword either. Mr. Curtis expands on the social significance of the boxing match in addition to addressing his concerns about income inequality and poverty in this country. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Mar 18, 2020 |
Moving story of a young girl and her family in Gary, Indiana during the Great Depression. The protagonist, 12-year-old Deza Malone, is immensely intelligent - to the point that her teacher demands that Deza "put down" the thesaurus when composing school essays. Her teacher believes that Deza will grow up to do great things some day, but her mother and father are concerned that poverty will destroy the "spark" that is in her.

Deza's father is forced to leave in order to find work, but the family he's left behind is evicted from their home and decide to set out after him.

This book addresses a lot of themes for young readers to think about: Deza asks her parents about race-prejudice directed toward her family, specifically about what a White woman means when she says Deza is a "credit" to her race. Deza also embodies a current concern that children's literature needs to mirror the diversity that's in society; Deza candidly reflects on her experience reading about story heroines that don't look like her. Finally, the family's efforts to make a temporary home in an indigent workers' camp could find parallels with the contemporary issue of homeless encampments in communities. Altogether, a worthwhile book for the children's collection in a library.
  Cynthia_Parkhill | Jul 28, 2019 |
Deza Malone is the smartest girl at her school in Gary, Indiana. She loves everything about school and checks out books from her local library regularly. Deza’s older brother, Jimmie, excels at singing and has a voice like an angel. Sadly, he hasn’t grown since he was twelve, and now people think he's her younger brother. Unfortunately, the Great Depression has hit the Malone family hard and they don’t have the money to take Jimmie to a special doctor to find out what’s going on. Mr. Malone has been out of work and Mrs. Malone works as a housekeeper, but this barely keeps a roof over their heads and a small amount of food on the table. After a tragic accident, Father seems different, until the big fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling is about to take place. Deza doesn’t understand it, but there’s hope everywhere. She thinks the fight is stupid until her father explains it to her and how important it is that there is an arena in which the color of skin doesn’t matter. Everyone is certain they know how the fight will end, and after it is over Mr. Malone decides he needs to leave Gary and look for a job in Flint, Michigan. It isn’t long after when their landlord kicks the rest of the Malones out of their house. Leaving behind her school, her best friend, and the only life she has ever known is painful for Deza. Still, she moves with her mother to a Hooverville in Flint hoping to find her father and be united as a family again. Will they ever find Deza’s father? Is it possible to survive without money for food or shelter? Does Deza have enough hope and perseverance to continue on? Don’t miss this trip back in history, because you won’t be able to put it down!

I read Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis and fell in love with it. I couldn’t wait to read The Mighty Miss Malone and I was not disappointed. Deza is an inspirational character because she keeps trying and does her best to stay positive no matter what. Whenever I read about the Great Depression I am amazed that people survived, especially with so many struggles. My heart went out to Deza and her family and all that they went though. Reading about the Malones was so much fun because of their relationship with each other. Seeing how hard life was for Deza made me think about all the things I take for granted and how lucky I am to have food, shelter, clothes, and even frivolous items. Sadly, there were people in the book who were prejudiced against Deza and her family because of their skin color, and when they said things to her like, “You are a credit to your race” they didn’t realize they were letting Deza know they were someone judgmental who couldn’t be trusted. I especially like how the author showed us that we often misjudge people or situations because we think we know what's going on, but really we bring our own bias with us. Reading the “Afterward” I was surprised at the information I learned and how I had misjudged a situation in the book. It’s awesome when you can read a book, fall into another time and place, and learn an important lesson. I would recommend this book to people in grades four and up who like historical fiction and characters with heart. I will certainly read anything by this author! ( )
  Robinsonstef | Jul 10, 2019 |
Deza Malone is a verbose and intelligent young lady who dreams of writing and is part of a close-knit black family living in Gary, Indiana. But the Depression has her father, along with most black men in their town, out of work, and the family soon finds themselves making huge sacrifices to make ends meet.

Blending humor and a strong heroine with serious topics of poverty and racism, The Mighty Miss Malone covers a lot of ground for such a short book. I liked Deza, and her growth over the year or so that the events take place. I was a little confused about her brother, Jimmie, as he's a few years older than her, yet she often seemed to treat him as a younger brother - I couldn't tell if he had some mental challenges or was just somewhat naive at times. There were a couple of plot elements I found less believable, but allowed the story to end on a hopeful note. ( )
  bell7 | Mar 29, 2019 |
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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.

And

my brother,

Herman David Curtis. Hero. 1957-2011.
DEDICATION

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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