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Mr. Chickee's Funny Money Paperback – January 23, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 3-6–A humorous and exciting tall tale about nine-year-old Steven, who loves helping his blind neighbor, Mr. Chickee, run his errands. When the elderly man tells Steven he is going on a long trip, he gives the boy a present and tells him to keep it secret. When Steven finally opens the surprise, he finds a quadrillion dollar bill. With the help of his younger friend, Russell, and Russell's drooling, giant dog, Zoopy, Steven manages to evade the smarmy and slightly inept Agent Fondoo from the U.S. Treasury Department, who is desperately trying to get the bill back. Curtis piles the laughs on in this fast-paced mystery. The interactions between Steven and his dad, who uses every opportunity to educate his son (much to Steven's irritation); the dictionary whose copyright page constantly writes insults; and the boy's miraculous spying invention called the Snoopeeze 9000 all serve to give the novel a sense of whimsy and magical realism. Characters are very interesting but the plot is the important thing here. Curtis presents both adults and children as flawed but brave. This book will surely appeal to reluctant readers as well as anyone who wants to laugh and find intrigue and just a little bit of magic.–B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-6. Curtis tries something new in this book, which begins the Flint Future Detective series. Mostly mystery with a touch of fantasy, the story introduces Steven, a bright kid, whose adventure begins after he receives a quadrillion dollar bill from Mr. Chickee, a blind neighbor that Steven helps out. The money's signature feature is a picture of soul singer James Brown. After Steven discovers that the money is legit, he finds himself pitted against Treasury Agent Foondoo, which leads to a chase in which Zoopy, a dog belonging to Russell, Steven's partner in crime, is seemingly killed. But all's well that ends well when the money is returned, rewards are given, and Zoopy reappears unharmed. There's plenty of action, and the humor is high--though much of it, unfortunately, is at the expense of Steven's father. Curtis' writing style, fast-paced and full of improbable happenings, may be too stylized for some readers, but many kids will enjoy the heady mix of conspiracies and everyday happenings. The explanation of how Brown's picture landed on the quadrillion dollar bill is a hoot. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (January 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440229197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440229193
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


Photo © 2003 James Keyser
author spotlight
"To me the highest accolade comes when a young reader tells me, 'I really liked your book.' The young seem to be able to say 'really' with a clarity, a faith, and an honesty that we as adults have long forgotten. That is why I write."--Christopher Paul Curtis

Christopher Paul Curtis made an outstanding debut in children's literature with The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963. His second novel, Bud, Not Buddy, is the first book ever to receive both the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Born in Flint, Michigan, Christopher Paul Curtis spent his first 13 years after high school on the assembly line of Flint's historic Fisher Body Plant # 1. His job entailed hanging car doors, and it left him with an aversion to getting into and out of large automobiles--particularly big Buicks.

With grandfathers like Earl "Lefty" Lewis, a Negro Baseball League pitcher, and 1930s bandleader Herman E. Curtis, Sr., of Herman Curtis and the Dusky Devastators of the Depression, it is easy to see why Christopher Paul Curtis was destined to become an entertainer.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 tells the story of 10-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan, and their unforgettable journey that leads them into one of the darkest moments in American history. It is by turns a hilarious, touching, and tragic story about civil rights and the impact of violence on one family.

Curtis's novel Bud, Not Buddy focuses on 10-year-old Bud Caldwell, who hits the road in search of his father and his home. Times may be hard in 1936 Flint, Michigan, but orphaned Bud's got a few things going for him; he believes his mother left a clue of who his father was--and nothing can stop Bud from trying to find him.

Customer Reviews

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We're looking forward to reading Curtis's other books.
WillowTwink
I work in an elementary school library and all of the kids who have read this book have enjoyed it as much as I have.
Taylor
So, read the book and experience how fun and exciting this book is.
B. Lin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lane Young on March 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Chickee knows what he is doing when he gives Steven a bill that has fifteen zeroes, and the picture of the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, James Brown, on it. Steven's the perfect choice due to his being the President of the Future Detectives of Flint club and the second smartest kid at his school. When Steven starts to investigate whether this bill is real or not he quickly runs up against Agent Fondoo of the US Department of the Treasury, who is determined to get the bill back, one way or another.

This implausible book, while keeping the setting of Flint with a black main character, is a departure from Curtis's other novels. Serious messages are out and humor is the focus of this mystery. Clearly intended to be the first of a series, those looking for a funny mystery, or just a plain funny book, will be pleased with this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
it all starts out when mr. chickee gave steven a quadrillion dollar bill. then he and his dad show it to agent fondoo and fondoo is instructed to get that governmet dollar. if steven deposits it in the bank he will be a quadrillionaire. Steven, his friend russel and russel's giant dog zoopy are then chased by the feds when they try to deposit it in the bank. they then ride zoopy towards the bank. will they make it?

i thought this book was a really good book. steven's great grampa's dictionary writes mean messages at him. his powerful snoopeeze spy listener that he upgraded. james brown's face on the quadrillion dollar bill. it was really cool when russel and steven rode zoopy. then after russel falls off, steven and zoopy fall over the dam.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Chickee's Funny money was a super book.It begins when Steven get a quadrillion dollor bill. Then he and his dad show Agent Fondoo, and Agent Fondoo will do anything to get the bill back. Even send Steven and his best friends on a wild goose chase. If you like adventure books that are fast moving and don't let you know what will happen next this is the book for you.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Lin on March 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
By: Christopher Paul Curtis

Reviewed By: B. Lin

P.1

The book is about a blind man who gives Steven a quadrillion dollar bill but Steven does not know if it is real or not. He decides to take the book to the "Feds" to see if it is real of not. Well, agent Fondoo is offering Steven 2 thousand dollars for the quadrillion dollar bill but Steven knows better than that. The agent then start traking Steven. Read the book to find out what happens. It is a very funny and exciting book.

I like this book because of how the author writes. He writes simple buy yet, uses words that can get you tense. He makes you feel that you are a spectator who is in the book and you can see in your head of what is happening. If there is a sequel I will be wanting to read it and I wonder what will happen to Steven in his next adventure.

My favorite part in the book is when Agent Fondoo had to apologize to Steven and his parents and Russell's parents too. I didn't like how the way Fondoo treated the kids so I thought it was really funny how Agent Fondoo had to give Steven and his family a lot of things so he could apologize. I hope that the if the sequal comes out Steven will be able to find out who and how r. Chickee was invovled with all of this. So, read the book and experience how fun and exciting this book is.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
in the beginning mr. chickke gives steven a quardrillion dollar bill. steven show's his parents and he and his dad go to the treasury department and meet agent fondoo. fondoo offers them a reward of two thousand dollars. fondoo then talks to his boss and is told to recover that government dollar. when steven, russel, and zoopy the giant dog start to go to the bank feds chase after him. They ride zoopy to get away from the feds. Will they make it?

i think this is a really great book. I liked when they ride zoopy. It was funny and had action in some parts of it. i reccommend this book to anyone with a good imagination. Also when Steven's old dictionary writes mean messages to him i laughed. I hope you will like it too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By -MarMar on October 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
I thought that this was a funny and eventful story however I was crushed in the beginning. I did not like how the book started off with the main character witnessing his best friend's death. It did not make me want to find out why someone jumped off a bridge because we were immediately told that it was because they were being chased by agents of the department of treasury. However I did like the strengths of the book. When reading Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, Curtis was able to vividly paint a picture of what it was like to be a member in the Carter family home. He gave great insight into the family and gave each character a distinct personality. Being from Michigan, I also really liked his display of local color to Flint Michigan. After reading the book, I wanted to look up the places that the characters went especially Kearsley Dam. This is a great beginning book to an adventure. I would recommend this book to someone in the fourth or fifth grade who enjoys adventure or mystery.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reader on July 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My 6th grader couldn't resist reading this book out loud at the dinner table, chuckling the whole time. A didactic father who turns every event into an excuse for a math or history lesson, an overly patronizing mother who has read one too many child psychology books -- what child wouldn't identify with their long-suffering son, who sees right through them? I especially liked the fact that here, as in Bud Not Buddy, while it becomes gradually clear by the end of the story that the protagonist is African-American, that fact is no more and no less relevant than describing some other character as Irish. Highly recommended.
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