The Mighty Miss Malone
From award-winning children’s author Christopher Paul Curtis comes a companion book to Bud Not Buddy, The Mighty Miss Malone. Mentioned briefly in Bud Not Buddy, our heroine is Deza Malone, a feisty twelve-year-old whose family has been hit hard by the Depression. Her father spends most of his time looking for work while her mother earns a pittance as a maid for a local family. Deza excels in school, almost irritatingly so, but her older brother Jimmy struggles academically. Deza’s family is close-knit, trying to do the right thing, but when tragedy strikes, her father faces both a financial and spiritual dilemma. Left to fend for themselves, Deza, Jimmy, and their mother must find some way to survive in a time when so many lost everything.
This novel is well written and engrossing, and Deza is a wonderful storyteller. She experiences the heartbreak and loss her family suffers with as much fortitude as she can muster, but it is her brother Jimmy, who uses his golden singing voice to help the family, who is the most changed by events. Curtis has a gift for bringing young voices to life and Deza is no exception. I hope that we will learn more of this outstanding young woman in a future novel, because I’ve become rather attached to her superlative voice.