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The Mighty Miss Malone

Cover of The Mighty Miss Malone

The Mighty Miss Malone

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"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...More
"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...More
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.7
  • Lexile:
    750
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Reading Level:
    3 - 4

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Description-
  • "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.

    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    Journey to Wonderful

    "Once upon a time . . ."

    If I could get away with it, that's how I'd begin every essay I write.

    Those are the four best words to use when you start telling about yourself because anything that begins that way always, always finishes with another four words, ". . . they lived happily everafter."

    And that's a good ending for any story.

    I shut my dictionary and thesaurus and went back over my essay for the last time.

    The best teacher in the world, Mrs. Karen Needham, had given us a assignment to write about our families. I knew, just like always, she was going to love mine. She'd only asked for two pages but this was our last essay for the year, so I wrote six.

    Once upon a time . . . in Gary, Indiana, lived a family of three very special, very happy and uniquely talented people. I am the fourth member of that family and much too modest to include myself in such a grandiose description of their exalted number. But many people say I am of the same ilk and for that I remain internally grateful.

    My mother, Mrs. Margaret "Peggy" Sutphen Malone, was born here in Gary, Indiana. She is willowy and radiant and spell-blindingly beautiful. She is also very intelligent. She has a great job cleaning for the Carsdale family. Yes, that Carsdale family! The family whose patriarch is the president of the Gary Citizens' Bank.

    Her most endearing trait is that she is the glue holding this family together.

    "Deza?"

    I jumped and my pencil flew out of my hand.

    When I'm writing or reading a book, everything else around me disappears. Father says it's because I've settled into what I'm doing, the same way my brother Jimmie does when he's singing.

    "Jimmie! I told you not to sneak up on me like that when I'm writing!"

    He handed me the pencil. "I couldn't help it, sis, you were so far gone. What're you writing?"

    "My last essay for Mrs. Needham."

    "You know, a lot of people are saying her not coming back to teach is the best thing that ever happened at Lincoln Woods School."

    "James Malone, if I ever give one-half a hoot what a lot of people are saying, you have my permission to slap me silly. Mrs. Needham is the best teacher in the world. Now, if you don't mind. I never bother you when you're singing, don't bother me when I'm writing."

    "But lots of people love listening to me sing, Deza, seems to me like only you, that little pest Clarice Anne Johnson and Mrs. Needham like reading what you write."

    Jimmie is one of those people who can say something that might sound mean at first, but when he smiles and makes his eyebrows jump up and down you can't help smiling. He gets this deep, deep dimple in his right cheek and you end up laughing right along with him.

    My dearest friend, Clarice Anne Johnson, has a horrible and completely un-understandable crush on Jimmie. She says she bets you could pour cornflakes in his dimple and eat them out with a spoon.

    I'm hoping Clarice's taste in boys improves as she gets older.

    "Jimmie, please."

    "Sorry, sis. I'm heading out, can I do anything for you before I split?"

    "No, thanks. Just make sure you're back for supper."

    I looked at Mrs. Needham's instructions again. "What is the most annoying trait of some of your family members?"

    That was easy to come up with for Father and Jimmie, but I couldn't think of a single annoying trait for Mother. I wrote:

    Mother's pet peeve is that she hates the way a lot of people are mean to Jimmie for no reason.

    Her dreams are to see Father get a job where he doesn't always...

About the Author-
  • CHRISTOPHER PAUL CURTIS is the bestselling author of Bud, Not Buddy, winner of the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Medal, among many other honors. His first novel, The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, was also singled out for many awards, among them a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor.

Reviews-
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, December 12, 2011 “Though the resolution of the family’s crisis is perhaps far-fetched, some readers will feel they are due a bit of happiness; others will be struck by how little has changed in 75 years for the nation’s have-nots.”

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Random House Children's Books
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Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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