Thursday, April 17, 2014
Book Review: The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Geared toward a younger audience, Curtis tackles issues of poverty and race relations in a way that is gentle enough for kids, but honest enough to be thought provoking. He also elicits a wide range of emotional responses, from the nearly laugh-out-loud funny to the miserably painful.
This was a quick read, and for the most part I enjoyed it. (Yes, even though it's aimed at the younger crowd, there is still enough of a story for the adults.) The main problem I had with the story was the lack of continuity. While the main story arc is about the family's struggle during the Great Depression, there are so many other subplots that just don't pan out, and it made me wonder why they were even there. Things that were laid out like huge, important events that were sure to have a lasting impact on Deza's life were forgotten in the next chapter and never mentioned again. It just struck me as odd.
The thing that kept me reading, despite the continuity problems, was the interaction between the family members. They each had their issues, and the family as a whole had more than its share of problems. But they genuinely cared for each other, and did everything they could to lift each other up. That, for me, made the story worthwhile.