The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Summary: “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 search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie’s beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father.
The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone.
My Thoughts: This book was just wonderful. I have been a Curtis fan since I read The Watsons go to Birmingham in my college methods of LA class. I just love the voice of his characters and the way he touches on important periods in history and race relations in a kid-friendly way. Malone takes place during the Depression--seems to be a theme with my books this summer! I found myself both captivated by the family's spirit and completely feeling for them as they face obstacle after obstacle. I am thinking about using that as a read aloud later in the year--I'll let you know how it goes if I do! Definitely add this one to your to-read list of you're a Curtis fan or looking for some good historical fiction!