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The Order of Odd-Fish

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,191 ratings  ·  239 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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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  1,191 ratings  ·  239 reviews

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Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, blog
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."
Jul 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
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
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Rebecca Wells for

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
Emily Lovitch
Jun 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Burke Green
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Bella Grace
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My favorite book ever, from the day my mom brought it home for me when I was ten.
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: too-ya-to-review
I generally don't review YA, but in the case of this particular book I will say this much. If Douglas Adams spawned with Hunter S. Thompson and the resulting lovechild was raised by Eddie Izzard, the result would be a close approximation of what you'll find here. I don't get to use the word "depraved" enough in my reviews, but this book is an example of sweet mind-boggling depravity that marks the debut of an author to watch. I will say no more. ...more
Nov 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
THE YA book of the year-- hands down!
place your order now!
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
This is one of the nuttiest books I've read in my life, and I absolutley adored it. Bravo, James Kennedy! ...more
Miles Fischer
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the best books I have ever read. It is full of surprises on every page.
Irene O'Hare
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this in the local authors section of After-Words in Chicago when I was visiting last summer and finds like this are why I love independent bookstores. I never would have found this book otherwise and I loved it. It is ridiculous and humorous and full of heart. Be prepared to leave this reality behind and let yourself be fully immersed in the Order of the Odd-Fish and the world of Eldridge City and you will enjoy yourself. I was rooting for Jo and Aunt Lily and their crew the whole time. ...more
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is very strange and weird. But the more you read, the more exciting it gets. I vote this a 5 stars because it is a amazing adventure and fantasy world. I would totally vote for a second book, and I hope you love this book as much as I do.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5* rounded up for originality. Fantastic world creation and a creative plot that got pretty exciting at the end, full of fanciful description and lots of interesting characters including a strong heroine. It dragged a bit at times but overall a fun, crazy, colorful, unpredictable read. I would love to see this made into a movie.
Oct 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.

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
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
3 1/2 Stars. The characters were right out of central casting. The plot was mostly predictable. The dialogue was excessively elaborate (don't get me started on all the names of the thousands gods that are worshiped by the citizens of Eldritch City) and every time Ken Kiang appeared I thought of this guy, which makes it better for sure, but if there is a movie and he isn't in it, I will consider it a failure without having viewed it. Plus, there was far more gore than I was expecting, also, an ab ...more
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