The Mighty Miss Malone

The Mighty Miss Malone

Christopher Paul Curtis

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0440422140

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"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 it's 1936 and the Great Depression has 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.





















piece of paper held onto the dress by a string and a safety pin. My hands were shaking like a leaf and I read, HIMELHOCH’S FINE APPAREL FOR LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. Then I remembered. I had seen this dress before! Himelhoch’s is a rich people’s clothes store me and Clarice walk by every day on the way home. We’d seen a dress just like this one in the big front window on one of those little white dummy girl statues! I fell in love with it and Clarice fell in love with the green-and-gray dress that

But she just held me. I heard Mr. Rhymes get out of his car. He walked up to us. “Peg, if you need anything send your boy and I can be here in no time.” Mother said, “Thank you, John, thank you very much.” She squeezed my arms hard. “Deza, you have to listen to me.” Her eyes were bloodshot and the lines between them were at 1-1-1-1-1. “Oh, Mother, I’m ready. Tell me what happened.” “We don’t know yet. The truck was still parked by the lake. We figure they got lost, a huge fog bank came in

Mrs. Needham’s door. She was counting on me so much that I knew it would break her heart that I was leaving. But I stayed strong. It wasn’t until we were walking to Clarice’s that I could feel tears swelling up in my eyes. How can you say goodbye to the best friend you’ve ever had? I reached over and took Jimmie’s hand. I knew he wouldn’t try to pull away. “Come on, sis, don’t cry. We gotta get this over with. It’s just like when you pulled that tape off of my eyebrow. Do it quick, that way

the boys. I pretended they were my students and was very patient. Two little boys from Flint came in one day all by themselves. One of them reminded me of myself. He seemed scareder than his friend so I took him under my wing. He was very nervous and shy, but you could see how sweet he was too. His first evening in the camp, I didn’t want him and his friend to think they were going to get a free ride so I had them help me with the dishes. I took the little boy and showed him the creek where

Schmeling’s homeland, Germany, as well. In 1936, before the first fight, the growing Nazi Party proclaimed that white superiority would be proven because no black man could beat a white. There was the economic aspect: the fights took place at the nadir of the Great Depression. A conservative estimate of American unemployment was twenty-five percent. Hundreds of thousands of children under twelve years old were homeless or on the road. It was a time when desperate Americans of all races were

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