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Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission

Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission

4.6 6
by Christopher Paul Curtis

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Steven and his best friend Russell are back!

When Russell's dog, Rodney Rodent, jumps into a mural to chase a demonic-looking gnome and disappears, the Flint Future Detectives are on the case. With the secret password (Bow-wow-wow yippee yo yippee yay!) Steven, Richelle, and Russell enter the mural too, only to find the mysterious Mr. Chickee on the other side. To


Steven and his best friend Russell are back!

When Russell's dog, Rodney Rodent, jumps into a mural to chase a demonic-looking gnome and disappears, the Flint Future Detectives are on the case. With the secret password (Bow-wow-wow yippee yo yippee yay!) Steven, Richelle, and Russell enter the mural too, only to find the mysterious Mr. Chickee on the other side. To find a way out, the detectives must complete a mission—finding Rodney Rodent. And that means they're in some wild adventure!

As Steven says, "I second that emotion."

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Infused with the same high energy found in Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, this second installment of the Flint Future Detectives series offers even zanier adventures with mixed results. Steven Carter and Russell Woods allow a new member into their sleuthing clan: Richelle Cyrus-Herndon, "the smartest kid at Clark Elementary," whose intelligence is as irritating (at least to Steven) as it is useful. The trio's first mission is to find the whereabouts of Rodney Rodent, Russell's tiny lost dog, who Russell believes disappeared inside a "horrible, frightening" mural advertising Vernor's ginger ale. Following the canine's path, the children soon find themselves entering an alternate universe where Steven's dear friend, Mr. Chickee, is waiting to greet them. According to Mr. Chickee, the magical place he calls "Ourside"-which holds as many surprises as Alice's Wonderland-is in danger of dying, and it's up to the Flint Future Detectives to prevent such a disaster. The novel's fast-paced action, hip dialogue, wacky characters and tangential commentaries (including some gentle jabs at J.K. Rowling) add some spice, but occasionally readers may find themselves yearning for fewer gimmicks and more connections between seemingly random events. Ages 9-12. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
When Russell Woods's dog, Rodney Rodent, disappears through the mouth of the gnome on the Vernor's ginger ale mural, the Flint Future Detectives go into action. Steven Carter, Russell, and their newest member and newly-elected president, Richelle Cyrus-Herndon, enter an alternative world to save him. There they meet their old friend, Mr. Chickee, who tells them about the prophesy that must be fulfilled quickly in order to save this world. Readers will discover a wacky and wonderful adventure. Russell goes in search of Rodney Rodent, only to discover he has to first help the famous author, Buster B. Bayliss, figure out a way to get rid of a character he created, the enormous Ursa Theodora-Saura. Task completed, Russell returns to his friends. Readers will have to wait for the third book in order to find out if the Flint Future Detectives ever fulfill the prophesy and return home. Having first read Mr. Chickee's Funny Money is not necessary in order to follow or enjoy this sequel, but it would give the reader greater insight into the characters and situations found here. Humorous dialogue, distinctive, eccentric characters, and an imaginative world add up to a fun read. I am sure when you read it yourself you will "second that emotion."
VOYA - Rollie Welch
This celebrated author brings back the Flint Future Detectives, Steven and Russell, first met in Mr. Chickee's Funny Money (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, 2005), and hurls them into another fast-paced, wild adventure. Literarily launched into a wacky mission, the preteens deal with a cranky animated dictionary, a mini-dog named Rodney Rodent, and a mural on the Halo Burger wall that has been spooking folks since 1932. The Detectives are stunned when Rodney charges the mural barking out the Atomic Dog signature line-Bow-wow-wow-yippee-yo-yippee-yay! The diminutive pup flings himself into the painting, and the evil gnome in the corner of the painting turns and winks at Steven. What else is there to do but chant the old-school lyrics, plunge into the mural, discover what is going on, and rescue Rod? The mural is a portal to a parallel universe called Ourside, which is different than Yourside. In this weird world, characters and authors from all books have taken up residence, including B. T. Bowling who wrote Harry Plodder. Marked by outrageous scenes of chomping globs of mosquitoes, uttering groan-out-loud malapropisms (how many is a Brazilian?), and tween-age gross-outs (cheeseburgers smothered with olives are a delicacy), the story flies along. Curtis mixes in music from Motown, street slang, and vaudeville slapstick in this somewhat of a tall tale that hints of the Wizard of Oz and is more suited to younger ages. The author's name will draw readers, but there is an age-interest ceiling to this work. It is doubtful any reader older than thirteen will find it appealing.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6
This second book about the Flint Future Detectives is part mystery, part tall tale, part fantasy, and all fast-paced, zany comedy. When Russell's dog, Rodney Rodent, follows a winking gnome through a mural near the Halo Burger, Russell and his friends, Richelle and Steven, follow. They find themselves in Ourside on a porch with Mr. Chickee, who had given Steven a quadrillion-dollar bill in Mr. Chickee's Funny Money (Random, 2005). The kids have been summoned to this alternative universe to save Ourside by understanding the prophecies of the Chronicles of Zornea-Hu, the first Old Soul. They set out to find Rodney Rodent, hiring a surly guide who leads them to H.A.L.F. Land, where the unfinished, unused characters of fiction live. Curtis's spoofing with B. T. Bowling and the Hairy Plodder books, with The Great Morose Fire-Spewing Clabbernabber, is one of the novel's hilarious highlights. The surly guide steals Great-great grampa Carter's wildly funny insulting dictionary, setting the stage for the third book. Loaded with exclamation points and full of tongue-in-cheek asides, this book will be welcomed by those who enjoyed the young detectives' first adventure. Wacky characters, improbable happenings, weird challenges, and a chaotic plot will all conspire to have readers saying, as Russell does, "GULP!"
—Connie Tyrrell BurnsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The Flint Future Detectives return and, along with their newest member, Richelle Cyrus-Herndon, follow Russell's dog through a wall mural into Ourside. There they meet Mr. Chickee again and set off on a mission to determine which one of them is the Old Soul who can help stave off an impending disaster to that parallel world. In the process, they meet Harry Plodder's Mummy, who reveals the rest of the solution to the mystery of the quadrillion-dollar bill they found in Mr. Chickee's Funny Money (2005), and Russell travels through the world of author Buster B. Bayliss, through a blizzard and a mosquito-filled north woods in an effort to kill the deadly Ursa Theodora-Saura. Chock full of references to farts and boogers, as well as familiar children's book tropes, this disappointing sequel is clearly aimed at small boys. The last third is seven-year-old Russell's solo adventure. Fantasy, adventure and satire combine, but there is no coherent story arc to carry the reader from beginning to end. Readers will need to have read the first of the series to understand the characters and to go on to future volumes to see how this story ends. (Fiction. 8-11)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Christopher Paul Curtis is the bestselling author of Bud, Not Buddy, winner of the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Medal, among many other honors. His first novel, The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963, was also singled out for many awards, among them a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He is also the author of Bucking the Sarge, winner of the Golden Kite Award, and Mr. Chickee's Funny Money. He and his wife, Kay, have two children and live in Ontario, Canada.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
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