Sunday, August 25, 2013
The Mighty Miss Malone Review
Book talk: Deza knows that her family doesn't have 'it all.' One day, Deza even catches her mom filtering bugs out of their food because they can't afford to throw it away. Nevertheless the Malones do have a special spark that she knows will lead them to wonderful places. Deza has her intelligence and her writing skills that always leave her at the top of her class, and her brother has the voice of an angel. Most importantly, they have each other. Deza knows when they gather around for their nightly Chow Chat and her father calls her his Darling Daughter Deza that as long as they have each other, they have everything that they truly need. But then one morning, they lose that too when Father goes out fishing and doesn't come back. Everything is about to change for the Malones, will they have what it takes to stick together and weather the storm, or will it scatter them and blow them off course forever?
Rocks my socks: I loved this book from the first page. Deza is one of the most charming characters I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She reminds me of Anne of Green Gables with her pride in being first in class and her love of using longer words than are strictly necessary. She gets a lot of that from her father who is alarmingly adoring of alliteration. The historical setting was informative and I was intrigued by the description of life in a shantytown. The book brought home aspects of poverty and the Depression that I had never even considered before (like what it must be like to have your teeth rotting in your mouth because you can't afford to take care of them.) The Malone family and Deza in particular are so charming and persistent that the book remains entertaining throughout and never feels didactic or preachy and there are moments of humour to lighten up even the worst situations.
Rocks in my socks: zip
Every book its reader: The book does describe some difficult situations, but they are historically accurate and there isn't much violence so I'd say it's fine for 4th grade students and up. Fans of Bud, Not Buddy will enjoy reading about a character from the novel and anyone looking for a well-written and engaging historical fiction novel will be glad to meet The Mighty Miss Malone.
Random House has a page for the book complete with a reader's guide.
You can see a video of Christopher Paul Curtis talking about the book below:
Source: ebook from a public library
The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis: Buy it or check it out today!