Intermediate historical fiction
Christopher Paul Curtis has done it again. The author of Bud,
Not Buddy has, in The Mighty Miss Malone, created yet another spell
binder. Going back in time to the Great Depression for a visit with
Deza Malone and her family is well worth the journey.
As the story opens Deza's father hasn't worked regularly for
months. The economic hardship is taking a toll on the family.
Oatmeal with bugs can't be thrown out. Deza's teeth are full of
cavities there isn't the money to fix. Still, they are a close knit,
Unfortunately the family's loyalty and strength are put to
severe tests. Deza's father is badly injured in an accident. He
leaves the family to seek steady employment. Then her mother loses
her job keeping house for rich white people and decides she and her
children must move to be near extended family. Nothing involving a
moving van like we'd do it. Try riding the rails, ending up in a hobo
camp, and finding that the hoped for relative has vanished.
In an afterward Curtis writes that Deza can be a spokesperson
not only for the children of her era, but for the fifteen million
children today who live in dire poverty in America. I just hope her
unique and poignant voice inspires the rest of us to change things.
On a personal note, Bangor's 4th of July parade was wonderful. The
fireworks were stupendous--over an hour with a grand finale that
really lived up to the name.
A great big shout out goes out to all the folks who worked hard to
make the festivities a success.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod