BELLY UP by Stuart Gibbs

BELLY UP

Age Range: 9 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

Twelve-year-old Teddy is a world traveler with a wildlife-photojournalist father and a mother who does gorilla research. Stateside, the family lives at FunJungle, the world’s biggest and newest state-of-the-art zoo and theme park, the pet project of a Texas moneybags whose daughter inspired him. Action opens at Hippo River with the death of mascot Henry the Hippo, a beloved creature despite an irascible personality. Teddy sneaks into the autopsy and later strikes up a friendship with Summer, the daughter of the billionaire owner, in his efforts to solve the mystery of who killed Henry. Not a typical child, Teddy has amassed a considerable knowledge of arcane facts of human nature as well as animal behavior in his travels. Overall, the story is great fun, despite a sometimes plodding approach to the narrative that is too reminiscent of a report. In his authorial debut, screenwriter Gibbs combines details of the inner workings of zoos with some over-the-top action for an entertaining read. (Mystery. 9-13)

Pub Date: May 18th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8731-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2010




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