The Order of Odd-Fish
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The Order of Odd-Fish

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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  798 ratings  ·  196 reviews
JO LAROUCHE HAS lived her 13 years in the California desert with her Aunt Lily, ever since she was dropped on Lily’s doorstep with this note: This is Jo. Please take care of her. But beware. This is a dangerous baby. At Lily’s annual Christmas costume party, a variety of strange events take place that lead Jo and Lily out of California forever—and into the mysterious, stra...more
416 pages
Published August 12th 2008 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Keturah and Lord Death by Martine LeavittThe Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne JonesSorcery & Cecelia by Patricia C. WredeSummers at Castle Auburn by Sharon ShinnThe Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley
Hidden Gems: YA-Fantasy Novels
433rd out of 1,073 books — 2,784 voters
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29 Books for 2009
27th out of 32 books — 19 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,684)
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Amanda
It's difficult to decide what I should say about this book. If I could sum the novel up in one word it would be, well, odd. Or absurd. Or peculiar. And I mean this in the best possible way. The Order of Odd-Fish is a young adult fantasy that drips with the absurdist humor of Monty Python or Douglas Adams. Naturally, this secures me as a fan.

The novel is about Jo Larouche, an orphan who was found with a note that said, "This is Jo. Please take care of her. But beware--this is a DANGEROUS baby."...more
Melki
Lily Larouche was a famous (and famously notorious!) actress. Her exploits made her a legend right up until the day she disappeared.

Forty years later, she awakens in her bed with no idea how she got there, or what she's been doing for all that time. In her laundry room, in the washing machine, she finds a baby and a note that reads, "This is Jo. Please take care of her. But beware. This is a DANGEROUS baby."

Thirteen years after that, the mysterious Colonel Korsakov arrives to bring Jo a gift. A...more
Harold Smithson (Suicide punishable by Death)
The Order of Odd-Fish is one of those little surprises that you come across from time to time. You're lingering on the Internet for no particular reason besides boredom, beginning to question why you're even there, when you come across something strange, new, and interesting. You're curious, because this is not something you knew about previously, so you begin to look into it. The facts check out and you decide that you'd like to experience it. Thus was I inducted into The Order of Odd-Fish, a Y...more
Kate
Feb 03, 2011 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy odd and quirky reads
Recommended to Kate by: James Kennedy
I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into with this one, but I ended up throughly enjoying it, and now I want to meet other people who enjoyed this odd, quirky story as much as I did.

The trade paperback artwork was just fabulous and if I had to pick a favorite character I would have to say it would be Ken Kiang. With sarcastically funny dialogue like: "No man calls me a boobly-boobly-boo-boo and lives!" You can't help but liking this complex character. Also, something quite intereseting and un...more
Patrick
Sep 27, 2008 Patrick rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of literature
In the first few chapters of The Order of Odd-Fish, our young hero finds herself torn from everyday existence and plunged into a magical world with magical people and magical items. Anyone who read only so far might think it conventional--even formulaic.

That poor soul would miss the magic, because it's then--just as we get our bearings and settle in for yet another fantasy novel--that Kennedy pushes the reset button again. And again. And again.

Like the story's arch-villain--who at one point st...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Rebecca Wells for TeensReadToo.com

Jo Larouche has always been ordinary - or as ordinary as you can be when you live in a ruby palace with a highly eccentric retired movie star for an aunt. Though she was found in her aunt Lily's laundry room with a note detailing her as a dangerous baby, Jo has been for all of her thirteen years just about as dangerous as a glass of milk.

Things begin to change when strange events at Lily's Christmas party contrive to send Jo and Lily out of Californ...more
Sesana
What a weird book. I mean that in the best possible way, I think.

The Order of Odd-Fish is partly screwball. A quick selection of characters: an aging former actress, a Russian colonel whose actions are dictated by his intestinal tract, a giant and very vain talking cockroach who is stalked by paparazzi, and our main character, Jo Larouche, who was found in a washing machine as an infant with a note warning that she is, in fact, a dangerous baby. There's an order dedicated to writing the appendi...more
Norm
When I told James Kennedy I'm not yet (still trying) a fan of Neil Gaiman because the books are so layered, thick with prose which slows down the pace, he said, "oh, you won't like mine, then."

Well, James wasn't right. Yes, there were long, rambling descriptions. Yes, it was a deep slow-developing plot. and no, it wasn't one of the roller-coaster mile a minute paces I enjoy. But the same things I typically don't like in a book were the things I enjoyed about this.

I loved the where-did-he-come-up...more
Zach
When I first started Odd-Fish, all I wanted was to do was drink the blood of a kitten, but by the end this book had me feeling as coy and cute as The Silver Kitten of Deceit.
Emily Lovitch
I picked up this book because it just looked like it was made for me. I got to reading it and it freakin' rocked my socks. Kennedy's style of humor is so hilarious and random and it was just the sort of book I needed at that time. Since this is sort of an adventure fantasy not everything can be hilarious at every moment and the serious parts of the book were done very well. By page 120 I was so thoroughly pulled into the story that I didn't want to stop reading.
And also may I add that I have ne...more
Kricket
Nov 25, 2008 Kricket rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: elli in particular, and also everyone.
one of my co-workers arranged for james kennedy to visit our library in january. somehow the book had escaped my radar, perhaps because we had it in the 'youth middle school' section, but when i found out kennedy would be coming, i grudgingly decided to read his book. and i am so glad i did, FOR IT IS SCRUMPTIOUS!!

jo is 13, living with her batty aunt lily in a red palace in the desert outside los angeles. at aunt lily's christmas costume party, many mysterious occurrences occur, and the next day...more
Veronica
Was randomly sent this book for a Book Club review and am blown away by how awesome it is. It's Lemony Snicket, Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl, and Norton Juster all rolled into one with some Monty Python sprinkled on top. This may go down as one of my favorite reads of the year. You can read my full review here.
Burke
This book made me laugh until I cried a cup full of tears, which I then used to make a salty, bitter cup of tea to drink in the moonlight.
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brianna
Aug 04, 2010 Brianna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who loves fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacob
This book was amazing. His ideas are so wild and unexpected and the flying ostriches in this book make me want an ostrich. Sadly, you need to be a licensed professional to have an ostrich in the US. James Kennedy created a world that I would want to live in.
Michelle
Nov 02, 2008 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Michelle by: My librarian
Though at times it deviates from the childish Dr. Seuss fantasy it leads on to be, The Order of Odd-Fish is a quick-paced, wildly original story that I'd suggest to any Harry Potter fan looking for a bandaid now that the series is over.
Meg
Jun 30, 2009 Meg rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Joy Ziegler
Truly one of the best books I've read in a long time! A must read for any Harry Potter fan. You'll quickly get engrossed in this twisted and seriously fun world.
Liz
Best book I read all of last year. I laughed out loud on the subway several times reading this book. The plot and the writing are utter perfection.
Renee
This is one of the nuttiest books I've read in my life, and I absolutley adored it. Bravo, James Kennedy!
Jennifer
THE YA book of the year-- hands down!
place your order now!
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
'"I thought the afterlife would be drier than this," said Jo.

"Or better lit," said Sefino.

"We're not dead!" insisted Aunt Lily.

No one spoke for a while. Jo fidgeted uncomfortably in the wet darkness. Her body was coming back, and it ached all over.

"Pretty dull afterlife," said Sefino. "I must have been more of a sinner than I thought."

"I expect it picks up later," said Colonel Korsakov.'



What do you think of this little snippet of The Order of Odd-Fish? Love it? This book is for you, then. Someho...more
Sarah
During my senoir year at high school i volunteered to help out at the Missouri Lit fest at UCM. i spent the whole day in a ballroom full of books ,paradise to be put simply. i had a little bit of money for lunch that i of course blew on books. Order of the Odd Fish kept jumping out at me , though i had no idea why. The description on the back seemed at the time a ok book , a little screwy but good. before i knew it i had already bought it. it was a few months before i read it , school distractio...more
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Originally posted here (The Book Files)

Beware...Jo is a DANGEROUS baby...

Title: The Order of Odd-Fish(Odd-Fish #1)
Author: James Kennedy
Publisher: Random House
Pub Year: 2009
Genre: YA fantasy/sci-fi

Rating: 5/5

Jo Larouche, a thirteen-year-old girl who lives in an ornate "palace" in a desert, has her world turned upside-down and inside-out when she is transported to quirky Eldritch City via fish. She soon meets Ian, a dashing young squire, and Aubrey, an idolized television star, and goes on the adv...more
Kathleen
From Chapter 4: "He's a funny-looking little bugger," said Mr. Tibbets. "Where are you from son?" said Mrs. Beezy. "Canada obviously," said Mrs. Cavendish. "They've got all kinds of funny-looking folks up there. Barely human, Canadians."..."What's got into him?" said Korsakov. "The insecticide just made him drunk," said Jo. "He's wasted!" shouted Mrs. Beezy triumphantly. Mrs. Cavendish nodded. "From Vancouver to Ottawa, a race of ignorant savages."
As promised to John, who loaned me the book, an...more
Margo
This book was introduced to me by the dude himself, at an author panel organized by SCBWI-Illinois. Amidst sage advice on how to promote a book, Kennedy retold a doozy I’d have taken for the “don’t do this” pile – a doozy involving “whimsically insulting” Neil Gaiman AND a theatrical attempt to de-Newbery him.

Yes.
So, I’ll admit, one of my first thoughts was, “Is this a book for me?” In the end, I figured if Odd-Fish was half as entertaining as the guy himself during an author panel, I’d be in go...more
Aarti
Plot Summary:
Jo Larouche lives with her elderly, former actress Aunt Lily in a ruby palace in California. All Jo knows about her past is that she was found in Aunt Lily's washing machine one day soon after she was born, with a note attached to her saying that she was a very dangerous baby.

On the day of Aunt Lily's Christmas party, a large Russian gentleman arrives at the Ruby Palace with a giant butler cockroach, saying that his digestive system has told him that he must protect Jo from Ken Kia...more
Kate Coombs
The Order of Odd-fish is nuts, but it's a lot of fun! Jo seems like an ordinary girl, but when she was found as a baby--inside a washing machine--by flambouyant actress Lily LaRouche, the note accompanying her read: "This is Jo. Please take care of her. But beware. This is a DANGEROUS baby." The danger comes to light after Lily and Jo flee a supervillain billionaire to a place called Eldritch City. Lily turns out to be a knight of the Order of Odd-fish, whose mission is to search out useless, ob...more
Hallie
Decided I had to read this after I (along with most of the rest of the bloggie world) discovered this mind-blowingly wacky post.

13/5 update: This is seriously funny! And I'm getting more and more impressed with the narrator, which is something I don't say all that often.

Finished this yesterday - the length of time the I spent listening to the audiobook should not be taken as evidence of lack of interest. Loved it. Every time it seemed as if the exuberant whimsy might head towards being twee, th...more
Alisa
Part of this book are definitely 4-star, but I have to take one away because it took about 200 pages to really get rolling. The book's perspective was really skewed (in a good way) and I appreciate both the power and the originality of 'Teenage Ichthala' and 'The Silent Sisters' and flying ostriches, and even the complete non-sequitur of 'The Belgian Prankster.' But the first part seemed a shallow sort of zaniness - oddity for the sake of it, without the flashes of brilliance and substance that...more
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