In Depression-era Indiana, Deza Malone's opportunities are slim despite her potential. She's got the smarts, the determination, and the attitude, but her family lacks the resources to help her grow to her full potential--and things only become worse when her father needs to leave for Michigan to find work. Narrator Bahni Turpin's exuberant performance and raspy voice make this an enjoyable and lively audio edition. Deftly rendering Deza, Turpin produces an impressive range of emotions for the young protagonist as she confronts challenges. For male characters, the narrator lowers her voice a few octaves, creating spot-on voices and an audiobook guaranteed to appeal to young listeners. Ages 10-14. A Wendy Lamb hardcover. (Jan.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
Gr 4-7--Deza Malone, first very briefly introduced in Christopher Paul Curtis's Bud, Not Buddy (Delacorte, 1999) is back in his latest novel (Random/Wendy Lamb Books, 2012). Deza is strong, independent, and the smartest one in her class. At home in Gary, Indiana, the African American family members discuss their days during Chief Chow Chat. Their motto is "we are a family on a journey to a place called Wonderful." The Great Depression changes things when Deza's father can't find work and he goes to his old hometown of Flint, Michigan, with the promise of sending for them when he finds a job. The letters never come and the rest of the family heads to Flint to find Mr. Malone. Bahni Turpin perfectly voices feisty Deza, who suffers through rotting teeth and little food, but continues to have hope for the future. Turpin also brings to life the other members of the family, especially Jimmie and his beautiful singing voice. Curtis captures the feelings of the times, particularly the disappointment following Joe Louis's loss to Max Schmeling. Heartbreaking, hopeful, and at times hilarious, this is perfect for fans of Curtis and listeners who enjoy historical fiction.--Sarah Flood, Breckinridge County Public Library, Hardinsburg, KY[Page 58]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.