Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt Fitzroy (12) is on a mission. Henry the hippo, is dead. Officials at the newly opened FunJungle say it was a natural death. Teddy disagrees. With the help of his friend Summer McCracken, daughter of a billionaire who owns the zoo, Teddy is determined to figure out what really happened. The clues are there, but so is the pressure on them to stop digging for information. Will they solve the case?
BTSYA / Teen Reader (14):
Belly Up is a great introduction to the FunJungle series. I had also read Stuart Gibbs' Spy School series, so I couldn’t wait to read Belly Up. This book has the same action and jokes throughout the entire book.
This is fun to read, but I also like that it brings awareness to problems in zoos and with animals. The author did this masterfully, weaving real information into a fictional mystery. Belly Up is a great bookand would make a nice gift for readers 9 and older I would read this book on my free time at my own pace.
A fun mystery and a not-so-easy who dunnit. Teddy is fun to be around, and the clever banter and wordplay will have young readers laughing out loud.
Some mild profanity.
This is the first book in a mystery adventure series set in a zoo.
The story is fictional, but some of the elements that make the story work are not. First, there is a good bit of information about zoo animals and their natural habitats. Although done with humor, it won't take much for readers to parse out the adults' behaviors and get a glimpse into "politics." The story creates a great opportunity about how to do your own fact-checking.
10 and Up
9 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 14
Consider buying. Despite being a mystery where you know what happens, kids may re-read this one for the humor and jokes.