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Staff Reads: The Mighty Miss Malone

Staff Reads: The Mighty Miss Malone

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

Reviewed by Miss Julie, Youth Services Librarian

A robust title like The Mighty Miss Malone demands a strong female character and Christopher Paul Curtis delivers.  Darling Deza (Dez-uh) Malone loves her dictionary and thesaurus, she excels in school and is devoted to her family and friends, but life is hard for her family of color during the Great Depression.  In spite of the dark times, this family lights up the pages while they are “on a journey to a place called wonderful” with their unique personalities and talents. Father is a storyteller, mother is a hard worker and the glue that holds the family together, and brother Jimmie is short, but he sings like an angel. 

It was a pleasure getting to know the Malone family and avid readers will enjoy Deza’s rich vocabulary and endearing embellishments throughout the story.  Though Deza has a fairly naïve and positive outlook throughout the book, her family encounters tough situations including homelessness and racism.  The character growth and resilience that the characters demonstrate gives ample opportunities for in-depth discussions.  This middle grade novel could be a book read for pleasure, or it would be an awesome option for a book club or family read aloud.  

The Mighty Miss Malone is available in print, eBook, eAudio, or book on CD at: evergreen.lib.in.us