Mr. Chickee's Funny Money

Mr. Chickee's Funny Money

by Christopher Paul Curtis


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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 best friends, Russell and Zoopy the giant dog, are more than a match for the Feds. After all, Steven is the president of the Flint Future Detectives Club, and the inventor of fantastic spying and detecting equipment such as the Snoopeeze 9000!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440229193
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 01/23/2007
Series: Mr. Chickee's Series Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 267,883
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 7.63(h) x 0.46(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Christopher Paul Curtis grew up in Flint, Michigan. He and his wife, Kay, have two children and live in Ontario, Canada.

Read an Excerpt

Steven sat on the banks of the Flint River below the Kearsley Dam crying. Not just little splishy-splashy tears either—his tears were gooshy waterfalls coming out of his eyes. He was crying so hard that the tears weren't just running down his cheeks, they were running over his forehead into his hair and sideways into his ears!

But who could blame him? Even though he was nine and one-third years old and probably a genius he was boo-hooing like a kindergarten baby because he'd just seen the most horrible thing any kid could ever see. Well, almost.

His best friend for this week, his greatest pal ever, the only one he'd ever shared all his secrets with, was gone. Not gone for the weekend or to a new neighborhood or to a new town or even out of the country. He was gone forever!

Steven kept his eyes on the churning and boiling and splashing water at the base of the dam, but deep down inside him he knew. No one, no matter how big and strong they were, could fall over that dam and hold their breath for fifteen minutes, and that was how long it had been.

Gone. That one word kept coming into Steven's mind. It stopped that other word, that other four-letter word. He didn't want to think of both that other four-letter word that began and ended with d and his best friend in the same sentence.
For the first few minutes after he'd dragged himself out of the water Steven had stared at the spot where they had landed. He kept saying, "Come on! Come on, where are you?"

He'd always believed that if you thought about something hard enough and positively enough you could make it happen, so for ten minutes he kept imagining his friend popping to the surface of the water, gasping and gulping in huge lungfuls of precious air before finally swimming over to the riverbank, where Steven would help pull him out.

After he had imagined this over and over and over and after no head came to the surface, Steven knew, he knew he'd been very lucky in the two-hundred-and-fifty-foot fall over the dam. His friend had not.

Steven sat on the riverbank in shock. A pretty good-sized puddle that mixed Flint River water and tears was growing around him but he didn't care, he didn't even put his face in his hands, he just stuck his face out and cried.

Crashing down the bank toward him through a jungle of thrown-out refrigerators and TVs and plastic garbage bags and weeds were six men all dressed in black suits with white shirts and red neckties. One of them yelled, "Over here! The little boy's alive! He's down here!"

All six men held objects that looked like teeny-weeny satellite dishes. All six dishes were going "Beep! Beep! Beep!" and flashing green and blue lights. The man who had spotted Steven pointed his dish and it beeped faster and faster as he got nearer.
Steven didn't even care. His friend had only been gone for a few minutes and already Steven felt so bad and lonely and sad that nothing seemed important.

The man crouched beside him and said, "There, there, son, it's going to be all right."
Steven felt like he was dreaming when the man took off his black suit jacket and wrapped it around his shoulders. "I'll call an ambulance. You've got a pretty nasty bump on your head there and we don't want to take any chances."

It didn't even seem strange when the man started talking into his watch: "Come in, base, Agent One here, I've got an injury at the bottom of the dam. Subject A Three has suffered a possible concussion and appears to be disoriented, request an ambulance at"—the man looked at his little satellite dish—"at coordinates nine oh three tristar three eight seven ooga-booga three three three four. Over."

The watch answered the man, "One, is A Three in possession of the item? Does he still have it?"

Agent One pointed his mini-dish at Steven. It went "Beep! Beep! Beep!"

One answered, "I'm afraid not, base, that's a negative."

The watch said, "Oh, no, this is terrible, he must've lost it in the fall over the dam. Is A Three alert enough to be questioned?"

Agent One gently shook Steven and said, "Son? Son, are you okay?"

What kind of question was that? How could someone be okay when they knew their best friend was de . . . was gone? Steven just looked at the man.

"Now, son," Agent One said, "you've got to help us out here. Things will be a lot easier if you cooperate, all right?"

Steven nodded, not because he agreed, but because he knew that was what the man wanted him to do.

"Okay, good boy. Now, where is it? We're pretty sure you had it when you two started running across the top of the dam. Did you drop it in the water? Do you know which side it fell on? Just tell me where it is and maybe I can help you out and you won't have to go to jail for too long."

Steven had to think about this. He wished his head would stop spinning for a second so he could make the kind of decision a good detective would about what he should do next.

One thing he did know, spinning head or not, was that this man didn't really care about helping him. He was trying to scare him with that talk about jail, and it worked—Steven started wondering what bad thing could happen next.

"Look, kid, tell me where it is or things could get pretty bad for you." The man's tone changed.

"He . . . he . . . he . . ." Steven pointed at the spot where they'd landed in the water. "He must still have it. I think he swallowed it while we were falling."

One aimed his mini-dish at the spot where Steven pointed. The dish went "Ba-weep! Ba-weep! Ba-weep!"

One yelled into his watch, "Base, base! Subject B One allegedly still has the item in his possession! I'm getting a positive reading on my parabolic unit indicating the item is underwater at the foot of the dam!"

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Mr. Chickee's Funny Money 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Steven lives in the neighborhood of Mr. Othello Chickee. Since Mr. Othello is blind and somewhat elderly, Steven takes him on Sunday outings and to the grocery store to help aid him in his grocery shopping experience. Steven usually gets paid by means of Verners and salt and vinegar chips, except for one eventful time. One day, Mr. Othello gives Steven a dollar bill that has fifteen zeros! Steven finds out that this bill is actually a quadrillion dollar bill. Steven of course lets his best friend Russell and Russell's dog, Zoopy know about this mysterious bill. It is then found out that there are only "five" of these bills circulating around, and so Agent Fondoo from the U.S. Treasury Department tries to get a hold of this bill. Steven's dad is hesitant, simply guiding his son to the dictionary when questions revolving around the bill are asked. Due to the bill's rareness, Steven will get a reward of $20,000 if he turns it in. This bill leads to a mysterious journey, one sad happening, but overall of lots of laughs!
John Grau More than 1 year ago
Great book
mcalexan28 More than 1 year ago
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.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 enough to keep the money safe? I'm not a huge fan of mysteries, but the quirky characters and funny situations in this book kept me turning the pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was a great book
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Great book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awsome :) :}
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is hilarious, a good one for parents to read to their children, especially if they are reluctant readers. It's zany and short and part of an on-going series (I hope! 2 out so far). Plus it provides a great way for adults to introduce kids to the music of James Brown.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1 "But Mom the party-" "Byee!love you!" "Don't do this to me!!" She walks out the door and shuts it. Ugh, can someone explaine why the h311 ,y lifes horribly pathetic?When something FINALLY goes right it ends up wrong? Now I can't go to Micheals party! Because I have to take care of my little brother. Wtever. So I hop in the tub and take a nice looong hot shower when my little brother Jason comes banging on the door like a maniac. Fu<_>ckin midget. "What?!!'i yelled peeking behind the curtian. "You have a fu<_>ckin phone call b!+ ch!!" Ok. Yea he's only seven. But he has cuzzing problems. And I have to deal with him all day. "Suuure. Whatever" " I need to use it!!" "Use the one in Mom and Dads room!!" "But I'm too lazyyy!" "Owell.." "FINE!!"he yells stomping off. Thank god!!.....eventually 5minutes later..... "Alex!!!! U have ap one call!!..".. Ugh. Bang!Bang!Bang!!"Alex! U have a-" "Tell them TO GO F THEMSELVES N TO GO TO H311!!!!OK?!!JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!" "Ok...umm hello? sister said to go f urself and to go to idk....ok...she aalso said.....she hates u soo much she could vomit and that ur so ugly ur face looks like it got scraped off the road!" Only then did I realize maybe he WASNT lying this time. "$h!+!!!" Jumped out of the bathtub and wrapped a towel around me and opened the door. "Give me the phone!"I hissed. "Say pleaaase!" "Ugh please!" He hands me the phone. But too late...the person hung up.. Thanks Mom...thanks a whole lot.(chap2nxt res later.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Your book is very awsome and very very funny text back
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poor :'( bad bad bad! F*** this crappy book
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story was about a boy named Steven. Steven always help Mr. Chickee'a blind man' with his groceries on Saturday. Mr. Chickee only liked Steven in the neighborhood. When Mr. Chickee was going away for two months, he gave Steven a gift for helping him. The gift a supposingly a quadrillion dollar bill. Is it real?