Sunday, December 4, 2011
BELLY UP by Stuart Gibbs
Twelve year old Teddy Fitzroy is not your average pre-teen. He has lived with his parents in the wilds of Africa. His everyday life has been like a continuous African safari. Now he's back in the United States, but his life is still far from average.
When war broke out in the Congo, Teddy's parents decided for the sake of their son they needed to seek jobs in a safer environment. They both landed jobs at an innovative theme park in Texas known as FunJungle. Created by billionaire J.J. McCracken, FunJungle is a zoo/safari experience combined with a Disneyland type theme park. People from across the country are flocking to this new vacation destination. However, the success of the park is threatened when its mascot and main attraction, Henry the Hippo, is found dead.
Teddy can't believe it when he sees the hippo partially submerged with its legs sticking straight up toward the sky. After the initial shock of seeing Henry dead, Teddy begins to wonder exactly what happened. Since FunJungle is Teddy's home, he knows his way around and manages to sneak in to observe the autopsy conducted by the park's resident vet. The procedure reveals that the hippo was murdered, and Teddy sets about trying to solve the case.
What follows is a non-stop adventure. Teddy tries to enlist the help of his mother and several other park employees, but his ideas are dismissed as just those of a kid. Determined to get to the bottom of Henry death, Teddy gets involved with J.J. McCracken's thirteen year old daughter, and together they discover some incriminating evidence. Someone must think Teddy is getting too close because he suddenly finds himself the victim of several potentially deadly attacks.
Author Stuart Gibbs has filled BELLY UP with tons of fascinating animal facts and plenty of intriguing twists and turns as the search for Henry's killer reveals many secrets surrounding FunJungle. Readers won't be able to stop once they've started reading.