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I Funny
A Middle School Story
James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein
Laura Park (Illustrator), Frankie Seratch (Reader)

Hachette Audio
December 10, 2012

Audio CD / (Unabridged/Run Time: 3 hours, 11 minutes

Reviewed by Jo Rogers

I Funnyis the story of Jamie Grimm, a kid that wants to be the best stand-up comedian in the world.  He’s always cracking jokes, even though he doesn’t seem to have anything to laugh about.  Jamie, through circumstances he’d rather not talk about, lives his life in a wheelchair.  He is adopted by an aunt and uncle and wicked son, Stevie.  Stevie is a bully, plain and simple and doesn’t let Jamie have any slack because of the wheelchair.  Like most true bullies, it seems to make Jamie a bigger target to Stevie.

Then, his Uncle Frankie tells him about a contest to find The Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic.  Jamie, although unsure of himself, feels compelled to enter.  But what if he isn’t any good?  His friends all laugh at his jokes, but they’re his friends.  Can he make a room full of strangers laugh?  There’s only one way to find out.  He has to enter the contest.  Can he win because he’s funny?  Or, as Stevie cruelly suggests, will they give him the prize out of pity because of the wheelchair?

That’s one thing that really makes Jamie mad.  He doesn’t want pity because of his wheelchair.  He wants to be successful on his own merits.

The book can be hilarious because Jamie has a wonderful attitude about his life in the wheelchair.  I can identify with Jamie, because I grew up in that wheelchair, too.  Like Jamie, I was in a wheelchair and my oldest sister bullied me.  Jamie will never succeed with his talent unless he really tries.  Listen to I Funny and laugh with Jamie.  Read by Frankie Seratch, it will tickle your funny bone and tug at your heartstrings.

Reviewed 2013