Twelve-year-old Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt Fitzroy believes that Henry, the hippopotamus at the brand-new FunJungle, has been murdered. The zoo’s top brass claim the hippo went belly up the natural way, but Teddy and his feisty friend Summer McCraken have other ideas. Could the culprit be FunJungle’s animal-hating head of operations? Or is it FunJungle’s owner—Summer’s dad—a man who is much more concerned about money than animal welfare? The deeper Teddy and Summer dig, the more danger they’re in—because when it comes to hippo homicide, the truth can’t be caged!
For the first 10 years of his life, 12-year-old Teddy's home was the Congo, where he lived with his parents, a gorilla researcher and a wildlife photographer. When civil war broke out, however, the family moved back to America; his parents now work at FunJungle, the world's largest zoo. When ornery zoo mascot Henry the Hippo dies, Teddy learns that he was murdered (after spying on the autopsy). No one believes him except Summer, the daughter of the Texas millionaire who owns FunJungle, and they work together to find the killer, even as someone is trying to silence Teddy himself. Animal facts are plentiful in Gibbs's debut novel, at times slowing the pace, but always offering interesting tidbits sometimes of a scatological nature (for example, hippos habitually fire "streams of feces" at each other and occasionally people). A projectile pile of Henry's innards, a wild chase scene, and a new zoo addition bring this whodunit to a romping, if slightly gruesome, conclusion. A likable protagonist, a very kid-friendly brand of humor, and the outrageous setting should keep readers' interest, especially animal lovers. Ages 8 12.
Best book ever!
It is amazing! Waiting for their to be a second book!
It's so fun and funny!
I have read all of moon base alpha and almost all of spy school so I thought I’d try out funjungle and it wasn’t a disappointment at all. Belly up was a super entertaining story to read that kept me on the edge of my seat. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the series!!