Release Date: 1/1/2010
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About the Book: 12-year-old Teddy lives in a zoo. His mom is a top zookeeper and his dad is an animal photographer, so Teddy is the only kid who lives year round at FunJungle-the ultimate zoo vacation spot. When the zoo's mascot, Henry the Hippo, goes belly up, Teddy sneaks in on the autopsy and learns that the Hippo was murdered. Teddy is on the case trying to figure out what happened to Henry before more animals meet the end.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Belly Up is another book that is on our state book award list this year and I've had book clubs about the book. Our discussion over Belly Up was one of the liveliest discussions we've had this year.
This is a great tween mystery-the story keeps them guessing and none of the tweens in my book clubs guessed who the murderer was from the start and all were surprised. The book moves along at a good pace and keeps readers engaged. The author also includes a lot of humor-from silly tween jokes to gross animal humor (there are some poop and guts in this book!) which the tweens loved. The characters are engaging and Teddy is a likable main character. The story also contains lots of action packed (and maybe some far fetched) scenes that will keep readers engaged. There's also a cute ending that my tween readers loved.
Belly Up has been one of the book club favorites. They even talked about it again a month later. The tweens really enjoyed the humor and mystery and were very interested in Teddy's story. A great humorous read for tween sleuths.
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from library copy I checked out from my library.