book review: Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money, by Christopher Paul Curtis (read by Joe Holt)

My wife has read most of Curtis’s other young adult fiction and enjoyed it, so we listened to this together. Quite a ride. My thoughts:totally absurd, totally funny

How can I not love a book with a sassy magical dictionary and a cuadrillion-dollar bill with the hardest working man in show business on the front?

In this wonderfully zany tale, nine-year-old Steven – living in Flint, Michigan – receives a strange piece of currency from an elderly neighbor. Steven, his friend Russell, and Russell’s giant dog (commonly mistaken for a bear) try to figure out whether the bill is real and end up eluding secret agents (you can tell because of the “Secret Agent” sign on the car), sparring with an ancient dictionary with customized rude messages written on the copyright page every time Steven opens it, and Much, Much More.

This is wacky fun; my wife and I had great time listening to it on a road trip. (We listened to the audiobook read by Joe Holt: just 3 discs long.)

There is a sequel (Mr Chickee’s Messy Mission) which I will definitely listen to (although not immediately: I don’t want the fun to wear off).

Note on content: There is at least one interjection which will strike most people as unexceptional but may offend those sensitive to use of God’s name. Not prevalent.

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