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Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission

Review

Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission

Steven has a lot of things on his mind. But when his dad forces him to get up and shovel snow, he is temporarily thrown off track. He is also trying to figure out why only a few houses (including his) seem to get buried under snow while others on the block do not. 

And what on earth is the deal with the goose that is always flying around his house? Don't they usually fly in V's and go somewhere? This goose seems to have a whirring noise coming from it and acts quite strangely; it definitely appears to have something to do with the snow. It is much later that Steven will find out exactly how the goose fits into his upcoming adventures.

The most important thing in Steven's life is the Flint Future Detective Club and the amazing dictionary he received from his Great-great Grampa Carter. While it doesn't talk, the dictionary makes sounds, throws letters and words in the air, has pretty strong opinions about everything and is one of the best characters in the book; it is always there to help Steven make the right decisions.

Among the immediate decisions are two possible new members joining, and one of them just might take his job as president. That certain person, by the name of Richelle Cyrus-Herndon, is the smartest girl at Clark Elementary School. The other candidate is the pet of his friend Russell, who happens to be the secretary of the Flint Future Detective Club and has "the world's shiveringest, shakingest, quiveringest, quakingest little dog, Rodney Rodent."

So when these topics come up at the meeting, Steven is as surprised as anyone when he totally agrees that Richelle should be president and, of course, that Rodney Rodent will be "the number one sneak, official map reader and number one bug chaser…"

No sooner are these changes made in the Flint Future Detective Club than they are all swept into another wild adventure that begins when Rod-Rode (as Russell likes to call him) seems to disappear into a strange mural painted on the wall of the Halo Burger. In order to find the missing dog, they all must enter the magic mural and a frightening, mysterious world where their detective skills are ultimately challenged.

Fans of Christopher Paul Curtis's MR. CHICKEE'S FUNNY MONEY will be more familiar with how these crazy little characters talk and interact. Not having read this first book, I found some of the references difficult to understand initially. However, once into the antics of Russell, Steven and Richelle's spying, sleuthing and hilarious interactions, readers are swept into their wacky world. There's never a dull moment in this clever, action-packed story.

Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts on January 23, 2007

Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission
by Christopher Paul Curtis

  • Publication Date: January 23, 2007
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
  • ISBN-10: 0385327757
  • ISBN-13: 9780385327756