Mr. Curtis’s newest has award winner written all over it. Set during the Depression, we become one of the Malone family, facing their heartaches, struggles, and joys. The story opens in Gary, Indiana, where the family is intact, but very poor. Deza has wonderful parents and an older brother with a beautiful singing voice. Deza excels in school and longs to be a writer. As the Depression deepens, and her father’s unemployment and accident cause the family to become homeless, we see and feel their pain. It is the family values, the importance of honesty and integrity, and taking joy from the smallest things that comes across so clearly in this story. Deza’s voice is full of optimism even when times are at their worst. This is an example of how literature can teach what a textbook cannot. Any study of the Depression should include stories like this so today’s students can deepen their understanding. Mr. Curtis’s writing excels again.
Netgalley review Publication date 01.10.12