Monday, January 16, 2012

A Winner! And a new Christopher Paul Curtis book for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

I have a winner to announce!  According to, the winner of the hardcover copy of MAY B. by Caroline Starr Rose is...


Congrats, Vivien!  Expect an email from me asking for your mailing address! (Readers, this is a great example of persistence paying off.  I think Vivien has entered every giveaway I've ever had and this is the first time she's won.)

Now on to today's MMGM, a new book from Christopher Paul Curtis!

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis (January 10, 2012, Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, 9780385734912, for ages 9 to 12)

Source:  advanced reading copy from publisher

Synopsis (my own this time!): Deza Malone loves words and reading and is the smartest girl in her class.  She has a strong and loving family: a father who enjoys using alliteration (“Dearest Daughter Deza”), a mother who quotes Robert Burns, and an older brother who can’t read very well but who sings like an angel. She also has a best friend who goes to the library with her every day.  If the Great Depression hadn’t come along and made Father lose his job, life in Gary, Indiana would still be wonderful.

The year is 1936, and times are tough for everyone, but especially for African-Americans.  Father goes to Detroit to find work -- and disappears. When Mother loses her job too, the Malones have to move into temporary housing.  They can only take what they can carry. 

Christopher Paul Curtis is the award-winning author of Bud, Not Buddy, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, and other fine novels.  According to the included author note, during school visits kids always asked when he was going to write about a girl.  He kept putting it off, until he spoke at a mother-daughter book club in Detroit. Some of the women berated him for including a scene in Bud, Not Buddy, in which a girl in the Hooverville kissed Bud Caldwell, a total stranger!  Mr. Curtis came up with an interesting reply. And this book, a companion but not a sequel, was born.

Why I liked it:  The characters are complex and real and engaging. Even if you’ve never read Bud, Not Buddy, you’ll still enjoy reading about the irrepressible Mighty Miss Malone.  You'll gasp at the hardships her family endures, and cheer at the way they support each other through the tough times.

The Newbery awards will be announced next Monday (here's the ALA Youth Media Award website).  This book came out too late for a 2012 award, but keep it in mind for 2013.  I predict it will win at least an honor.

What do you think will win the Newbery medal and honor awards this year?  I'd like to see Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy win an honor.  See?  I'll bet you've forgotten that book already.  It came out last January and I reviewed it at this post.  I also hope Hound Dog True will win an honor (reviewed here).  But I'm at a loss as to what will win the gold.   WonderstruckR My Name is Rachel?  What are your guesses?

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Messenger. Other regulars include (but are not limited to):

Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming
Myrna Foster at The Night Writer
Natalie Aguirre at Literary Rambles
Brooke Favero at Somewhere in the Middle
Deb Marshall at Just Deb
Barbara Watson at her blog
Anita Laydon Miller at her middle grade blog
Michael G-G at Middle Grade Mafioso
Pam Torres at So I'm Fifty
Ms. Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads
Danika Dinsmore at The Accidental Novelist
Jennifer Rumberger at her blog
Akoss at Nye Louwon--My Spirit
Gabrielle Prendergast at angelhorn
Sheri Larsen at her blog


  1. I can't wait to read this. I loved Bud, not Buddy.

    I saw Christopher Paul Curtis speak at a conference once. He's very inspiring.

  2. I am a fan of Christopher Paul Curtis, so will be reading this one for sure. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Natalie--lucky you. I'd love to hear him speak--!

  3. And congrats to Vivien!

  4. Hi Natalie. That must have been wonderful, hearing him speak. And I also loved Bud, Not Buddy!

    I'm a fan of his too, Deb. Hope you get a chance to read it.

  5. I just got word of this book over the weekend and added it to my to-read list. I'm a HUGE fan of Christopher Paul Curtis (and so are my kids).

    I can't make any Newbery guesses (I don't know enough of what's out there, I don't think), but I've read some great stuff published in 2011! Yay for Vivien! I need my own copy of May B.

  6. If I had to use my regular standard for guessing Newbery Winners (whichever book I hated the most will win!), I'd go with Hound Dog True. I know people really liked it, but I didn't. If that formula holds, Words in the Dust won't even get an honor because I liked it!

  7. If I had to use my regular standard for guessing Newbery Winners (whichever book I hated the most will win!), I'd go with Hound Dog True. I know people really liked it, but I didn't. If that formula holds, Words in the Dust won't even get an honor because I liked it!

  8. Hi Joanne! Great post - thanks for sharing!


  9. YAY!!!! You made my monday morning :D Persistence is key, I can't believe you noticed ;)

  10. Yay, Barbara! I know you love historical fiction.

    Ahahaha, Ms. Yingling! The only Newbery winner I truly hated was M.C. HIGGINS THE GREAT. Couldn't stand that book. Glad to hear you liked WORDS IN THE DUST. But sorry to hear you didn't like HOUND DOG TRUE.

    Hi Gina C! Thanks for stopping by.

    Vivien! Of course I noticed. :)

  11. I have no guess about the winners. There are far too many books out there. I will check these out, though!

  12. Hi Kat. And you're right -- too many books, too little time.

  13. This sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for sharing! I don't have any guesses either, I haven't read enough from last year to be a good judge.

  14. I guess I have to get my own copy of May B. then :)
    Congrats to Vivien for winning.
    As to the book featured today, it's going straight to my tbr list, so I could remember to read it when I get the chance.

  15. Next year, Jennifer! Next year!

    Maybe you'll win another giveaway someday, Akoss. I have them fairly frequently. Yay! Glad you're adding Miss Malone to your tbr list.


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