Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mighty Miss Malone

Mighty Miss Malone
By Christopher Paul Curtis

This book is a slice of life. You can just taste what the Great Depression Era in Gary Indiana and Flint Michigan might have been like. Period details are skillfully woven into the story with the Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling fight playing an important role in highlighting the sense of defeat for African Americans as they struggled during the Depression. The Malone family members try to hang onto each other regardless of what problems enter their lives. During all of this, Ms. Malone matures into a young lady.
The Mighty Miss Malone is 12-year-old Deza Malone, who is an outstanding student and the beloved daughter in an African American family challenged by economic hardship. Her dad is out of work, and her mom’s job as a domestic helps them to just get by. Because of these troubles the family is unable to address Deza’s rotting teeth or her brother, Jimmie’s arrested growth. Deza is someone that reaches your heart. She is an appealing, strong heroine whose narrative voice reflects both humor and sadness, and in the words of Mighty Miss Malone, ”It is a tragedy, a true tragedy that this book has to end!”

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