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Mr. Chickee's Funny Money

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  494 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Mr. Chickee, the genial blind man in the neighborhood, gives 9-year-old Steven a mysterious bill with 15 zeros on it and the image of a familiar but startling face. Could it be a quadrillion dollar bill? Could it be real? Well, Agent Fondoo of the U.S. Treasury Department and his team of Secret Government Agents are determined to get that money back! But Steven and his bes ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 11th 2005 by Wendy Lamb Books (first published 2005)
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A 250-foot drop over a dam, a friend who does not surface at the bottom and a dozen federal agents in dark suits holding what look like satellite ray guns…this is how Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money begins.

An exciting beginning leads to a story told in flashback by the narrator: fourth grader, Steven. He is joined in his Flint Future Detectives Club by his hilarious and oversize 7-year-old neighbor and best friend, Rufus and Rufus’ equally oversized and hilarious dog, Zoopy.

Steven is a marvelous narra
Mr. Chickee's Funny Money but Christopher Paul Curtis was overall dissappointing mainly because of the format I experienced the book in, audio. I am not a fan of listening to books on CD so I first had to adjust to hearing someone else read to me. As far as that, I found the reading by actor Joe Holt to be about as boring as watching (or listening) to paint dry. The story is multiethnic in nature because of the setting, urban, and the main characters who are African-American. Joe Holt, who is Af ...more
Erin Triplett
As the mother of a fifth grader (who has to read this book for her Battle of the Books competition this year) I was not in love with the main character of this book. He was pretty disrespectful and I found his misunderstood/misspoken word choices kinda dumb. I'm sure it would be great for a younger kid, though.
Review by Karen, intended for young readers:

Whenever there’s a big lottery jackpot up for grabs, I like to fantasize about what I might do with billions of dollars. I’d know I’d want to donate money to charity or set up a foundation to help people in need. But I’d also eat at a bunch of fancy restaurants and fly around the world visiting friends! What would you do if you were suddenly rich?

In Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis, Steven is faced with this question. But first, he
Steven Carter, founding member and president of the Flint Future Detectives Agency, always finds time to help his favorite adult, Mr. Chickee, the elderly, blind man who lives in his neighborhood. Usually, Mr. Chickee buys ginger ale and potato chips for Steven as a reward. But one day, the old man gives him an envelope instead with a single dollar bill in it. However, it’s a bill that Steven has never seen before.

With the help of his exasperating dad (“Look it up, Steven.”), and an old diction
May 17, 2008 Jodysegal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 3rd-5th grades
Shelves: audio-books
Steven has received a quadrillion dollar bill imprinted with the face of James Brown on it from his neighbor Mr. Chickee and now it’s up to him to figure out if this very real looking bill could be authentic. Enlisting the help of his friend Russell, the two must stand up to the black-suited agents of the Department of Treasury. Funny, at times irreverent, and with some refreshing surprises, Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money delivers. An audio-book read by James Holt is enjoyable, though the actor plays ...more
Christopher Paul Curtis continues to hit the mark with just the right combination of humor, mystery, suspense, accessible reading level, and quick plot. In my continual search to find light-hearted books with African-American protagonists for reluctant readers, Mr. Chickee is one of the few that met my hopes. Junior Detective Steven receives a mysterious dollar bill from neighbor Mr. Chickee, not only does the currency have more zeros than Steven can imagine, it boasts a picture of motown legend ...more
Apr 23, 2009 Kent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed Curtis's novels in the past and thought this would also be a fun one.

The premise of the novel is that Mr. Chickee gives Steven a quadrillion dollar bill (Soul singer James Brown is the portrait on the bill). It turns out the bill is real and the Feds are trying anything to recover it. The book was okay, but not excellent. The feds were written as fools, the premises of many of the sub-plots were ridiculous. If the book had been written as more of a fantasy, I might have believed i
Fun and light-hearted first story in his Mr. Chickee series, Christopher Paul Curtis includes elements common in his other books (set in Flint, Michigan, for example) but provides a whole new kind of reading experience. The protagonist, Steven, is given a quadrillion-dollar bill by his blind--and somewhat mysterious--neighbor, Mr. Chickee, for all the help Steven provides him on his weekly grocery shopping trip. Mr. Chickee goes out of town immediately after, leaving Steven to figure out if the ...more
Abby Johnson
Steven, member of the Future Flint Detective Club, has been given a quadrillion dollar bill by his friend Mr. Chickee. When he goes to the Department of the Treasury to find out if the bill could be real, he meets Agent Fondoo and he thinks there's something fishy about him. Unbeknownst to Steven, Agent Fondoo has just gotten a memo about the missing quadrillion dollar bill and the huge reward for finding it. Fondoo will stop at nothing to get it back, but are Steven's detective skills sharp eno ...more
Alix Mckee
I did not, personally, enjoy this book. Though, to be fair, I think the target audience is a middle grade boy with a silly sense of humor.

I did appreciate that the main character of this story was a young African-American boy , with married, educated and caring parents, who lives in Flint, Michigan and helps an elderly neighbor with his shopping. The story is set in the modern day and is a mystery.

Readers may be confused by a flashback that takes place early in the text. Rereading or talking wi
Mar 16, 2009 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely hilarious; I'm talking about quite a few laugh-out-loud moments being attributable to this book. There were also some heartfelt scenes snuck in amongst the sublime comedic syntax. Perhaps it's the limited amount of stories published by him, but Christopher Paul Curtis is always 100% on the ball with whatever comes from his pen. Simply put, if it's written by Christopher Paul Curtis, my advice to anyone is: Read it.
Edy Gies
I love Christopher Paul Curtis. He clearly understands kids and knows how to write for them and in their voice. Mr. Chickee's Funny Money had me a little concerned at first, but he told a story that is appropriate for middle readers, but can make any reader laugh out loud. He tells such funny stories about families and how they work together (or don't). His father's interest in James Brown and music was fantastic and the great-granddaddy's dictionary is hilarious!!!
Feb 18, 2015 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read for young but good readers. Two kids, a dog, and a slightly wacky adventure are mixed in with winks for the parents. (For example, a mom who runs to the bookstore for a child-rearing book every time something she can't explain happens.) The adventure is goofy and reads a bit like a kid spy movie. Some elements of fantasy are mixed in with realistic fiction. Kids may need to look up James Brown. A deus ex machina reference made this mom laugh. A quick, fun read.
Anja Manning
There are few books that really weren't written for me. This is one of them.
This type of nonsense literature really doesn't appeal to me, but that's just my sense of humor.
I am just as convinced that there are a great many boys (and girls) out there who will love this book, because it's funny (I suppose), fast-paced, and short.
I love Christopher Paul Curtis - but this book not so much. Sorry. What book leaves more questions in the end than it answers in the entire book?
A rare piece of currency originating from a blind old man leads the government to trail a boy, his dog, and his friends. Enjoyable and zany, and quite different from others by Christopher Paul Curtis. Starts out with the revelation that a best friend has just died in a tragic accident, which starts the book in a grim way, then begins a flashback to story leading up to that event, where the mystery and zaniness comes in.

Booklegger 3/4.
Sheri S.
Jun 07, 2016 Sheri S. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was kind of a silly book though my kids seemed to enjoy it. It's a mystery involving a quirky boy detective, an older man and a young boy from the neighborhood. The boy detective is a bit of a daydreamer who is kept in line by his stern, though respectful father, and very supportive mother (who is constantly incorporating parenting tips she has learned from the latest parenting book she has read). I probably won't go out of my way to read this series, but it was okay...
Jan 18, 2016 Suzy-Q rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the sweetest, funniest stories I'd ever read. Most of the times it is very silly, and other times you're in dangerous situations, and some moments really pull at your heart. There are some jokes I think that I missed, and I didn't recognize some of the parts that had to do with music, but the rest of the book made up for that. I think there is a sequel/new adventure, so I hope it's as funny as this one!
I am giving this book to every little boy (age 7-12) who says he can't find anything to read! Boys will be able to identify with Stephen's adventures as he tries to solve the mystery of the quadrillion dollar bill, given to him by his neighbor Mr. Chickee. I especially enjoyed the coded dialogue between Stephen and his dad - in the form of James Brown song lyrics! Hilarious!
This book was kinda funny, but also just really weird. My son loved it, but I just listened to it along with him, because he liked it so much. It was entertaining at times, and I never wanted to return it to the library without finishing, but I also never wanted to sit in the driveway listening to it. So, it was enjoyable but not amazing or anything.
May 13, 2013 Hridayendra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the book mr. chickee's funny money because it makes simpel wards like big thung into words a pink big thing filled with water.I also enjoyed the book because it is filled with new and funny chapters. my favorate charater is zuippy because his bark is loud and people think he is a bear i have a dog jest like that at home. I give the book 10 barks out of 10.
This book is a crazy joyride from Christopher Paul Curtis. Somewhat far-fetched, it will keep you laughing throughout. As I read the book, picturing the action as if it were a movie, I had to switch my thoughts to make it into an animated feature. It would just work better, especially the scenes with Zoopy, the 500 pound dog.
I was unsure about this book when I first picked it up, but I thought that it was very cute. It is about a boy who is given a dollar bill with 15 zeros on it. He is on a mission to find out if the bill is real and worth any value. I thought that this book had the perfect amount of humor and mystery in it. I know that a lot of students would love reading this humorous book.
Irreverent and goofy, this book takes Christopher Paul Curtis' unmistakable talent for creating very real child characters and blends it with a romping mystery whose lack of realism Curtis acknowledges with a wink and a nod.
Feb 19, 2009 Kristi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was the second book I read to my sixth graders. A boy is given a bill that is so outrageously large, and he goes to the FBI to see if it is even real. It's a fun, silly book. I mean, James Brown is on the bill! How crazy is that! The bill is real, and the FBI want it. Craziness ensues.
Sep 06, 2016 Aeden rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people looking for a quick and easy read in their times of boredom.
I liked the book but I think it could've had more in the middle of the book. My basic summary of the book is that: An old man gives a boy a quadrillion dollar bill and he goes through a series of adventures trying to figure out what the bill is and what to do with it.
May 13, 2012 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-childrens
Cute story! Not as deep as other Christopher Paul Curtis' books that I've read, but it was entertaining. The story has little silly details thrown into an otherwise realistic setting. It reminded me of tall tales and oral storytelling a bit and of Robert Munch. My kids loved this one.
Jul 14, 2012 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
didn't know what to expect, but this was quite funny in a subtle way that I definitely appreciated more than the kids. we listened to the book and it was very enjoyable. The references to pop music, particularly old soul, is really fun.
This was way too annoying for me. I only finished it because I didn't want to lose any time in my reading challenge.
There was so much crazy stuff that I suppose 3rd or 4th grade boys might find funny. Curtis should stick with historical fiction, where he excels.
Lovmelovmycats Hart
Liz is determined to read all of Curtis' books. Ok by me, they are good! This one is a fantasy, which is different from the others of his we've read. A nice change of pace!

Not as good as his award-winners. (who woulda thought?) :)
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #43 - Mr. Chickee's Funny Money 1 1 Mar 22, 2017 12:03PM  
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Curtis was born in Flint, Michigan on May 10, 1953 to Dr. Herman Elmer Curtis, a chiropodist, and Leslie Jane Curtis, an educator. The city of Flint plays an important role in many of Curtis's books. One such example is Bucking the Sarge, which is about a fifteen year old boy named Luther T. Ferrel, who is in a running battle with his slum-lord mother. Curtis is an alumnus of the University of Mic ...more
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“Once Zoopy started woofing you never knew when he'd stop. Agent One screamed, “It's alive! I thought it was a car!” 0 likes
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