Christopher Paul Curtis
Published by Random House
The Malones are an African-American family living in Indiana, in the United States, in the late 1930s.
This was the time of the Great Depression, when many people lost their jobs. Mr Malone leaves his family to find work while Mrs Malone, the main character Deza and her brother Jimmie, are kicked out of their rented house.
They stay briefly in Chicago before hopping on to a goods train and stopping in Michigan at a camp for the homeless.
They stay there for a while. Jimmie, a talented singer, meets a man who plays the harmonica really well.
They set off to find work performing. Meanwhile, people in the homeless camp are ordered out by the police, including Deza and her mother.
The story describes how families like Deza's had to go their separate ways in this difficult time to find work, and how they longed to be back together.
Perseverance and determination get them through, along with help from unexpected places.
The author brings Deza and her family to life with the help of vivid descriptions and telling details. The book made me feel I was in the story with the characters. I wished the best for the Malones and hoped for a happy ending.