Belly Up
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Belly Up

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  2,245 ratings  ·  355 reviews

12 year old Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt Fitzroy has got a murder on his hands and trouble on his tail. Henry, the hippopatamus at the brand-new nationally known FunJungle, has gone belly up. Even though it's claimed he died of natural causes, Teddy smells something fishy and it sure ain't the polar bear's lunch. Dealing with the zoo's top brass proves...more
Published 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Reader
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Apr 11, 2012 karen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: montambo montambo montambo
first, look at the cover. now, look at the endpapers:

how are you going to say "no" to that?? you're not. because not only is it a beautifully designed book, the story itself is great, and if i could stand to be around children, i would give them this book, because it is both fun and good for them, like flintstones vitamins.

i saw this on a cart in the basement at work while i was waiting for the elevator, and the colors attracted me. me being me, i yanked it out from the middle, causing a minor...more
Deb Hickenbottom
This heart-warming and life-changing story about a boy and his free time will surely captivate and inspire the reader. This book should be required reading for all humans on planet earth. The power of the author's words can stir up deep emotional connections between ourselves and the book's main character. Hemingway, Shakespeare, and Dickens have nothing on whoever wrote this book. Put it next to the Bible on your bookshelf and your collection will be complete! Laugh, cry, stand in awe. No emoti...more
Shruti S
Dec 4, 2012

I recently finished reading the Lone Star book "Belly Up" by Stuart Gibbs. Growing up in America's most popular theme park would sound fun, right? Wrong! Teddy Fitzroy lives there and runs into trouble everyday because he is lonely and bored. The worst part for Teddy, is Henry the hippopotamus, the park's mascot. Lazy, nasty,and obnoxious are some of the never-ending list of negative words to describe Henry. But no one could hate him enough to land him belly up, which he does anyways....more
BAYA Librarian
Fans of Carl Hiaasen’s books Hoot and Flush will enjoy this middle grade mystery set at FunJungle, an exotic animal amusement park. When Henry the Hippo, the mascot of the newly-opened park, goes belly up, 12-year old Teddy thinks it would be fun to sneak into the autopsy. He’s been around animals his whole life, since his mom is a gorilla researcher and his dad a wildlife photographer, and he’s intrigued by Henry’s seemingly untimely demise.

When he overhears that the hippo’s death might be a m...more
Barb Middleton
Teddy Fitzroy is a prankster who finds entertainment at the zoo his parents work at by giving monkeys water balloons or getting the security guards to chase after him for being places he’s not supposed to be. But when the Mascot, Henry the Hippo, turns up dead Teddy decides to sneak into the auditorium where the autopsy is being done. He overhears that Henry was murdered and begins an investigation of his own. There are plenty of suspects and with the help of a girl, Summer, the two smart kids w...more
Teddy, a 12-year-old, grew up in the Congo of Africa because his mother is a famous gorilla researcher on the order of Diane Fossey and his father is a famous wildlife photographer. They now live in a trailer in Texas on the outskirts of FunJungle, the largest zoo/Disneyworld type attraction in the USA, where his parents are employed. The mascot of the park, Henry the Hippo, a mean and messy animal who is not liked by many who have been injured by him, ends up suspiciously dead. Teddy and Summer...more
4.5 stars. MHL #7 for me. This is the winner so far. About a boy who lives at an animal amusement park and solves the mystery of a hippo's murder. Engaging and fun. Not too thought-provoking but entertaining. A page-turner that will appeal to many kids. Will definitely be getting this for my classroom!
Belly Up is about a boy named Teddy whose parents work at a theme park called Fun Jungle. Teddy finds out that the theme park's masco, Henry Hippo, was found laying belly up in his habitat. While listening in on the park's doctor, Doc, talking about how the hippo died, Teddy hears him say that Henry might have been murdered. Teddy immediately wants to investigate. Summer, the theme park owner's daughter, finds out about Teddy's investigation and joins him.

I liked this book. There was always som...more
Mari Anne
Finally, a MG novel I could sink my teeth into. "Belly Up" has sat, sadly neglected, in my reading pile for a while. Shame on me for leaving such a fun book unread for so long. This is a great mystery/action book filled with tons of fun animal facts and trivia. It is set in the mythical attraction "FunJungle" and is centered around the mysterious death of its mascot Henry Hippo. The plot moves along nicely and keeps the reader entertained up to the very end. This one very much reminded me of the...more
Chris Murray
Summary (
Twelve-year-old Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt Fitzroy has murder on his hands and trouble on his tail. He 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 world famous new 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 mon...more
Ryan Slattery
This is Stuart Gibbs' first novel, but I read his book Spy School (I gave 5 stars) before reading this.

I rated this with 4 stars because had I not read Spy School and loved it, I might have put this book down after the first couple chapters.

But I didn't, and I am very glad I didn't. It's basically a Whodunit (like Spy School), only this time I never was able to guess the right suspect and questioned everyone's involvement at various times.

The chase scene at the end was masterfully done and I cou...more
Twelve-year-old Teddy investigates when a popular Texas zoo’s star attraction—Henry the hippopotamus—is murdered. One of my most requested titles this summer. The cover art is great, and the premise is hard to beat. Teddy lives in a combination zoo/amusement park and is the only one who realizes that Henry’s murder is being covered up by park officials. Fun mystery with wild animals and a disgusting gross-out scene near the end (you’ll definitely know it when you read it!).
Rating: 5/5 stars

I wasn't originally planning to read BELLY UP, because it was my sister's book and was recommended for ages 8-12. However, since I was way behind on my reading goal, I figured that reading this book would help me get back on track.

I'm honestly really glad I picked this book up because I adore it so much. It had a great plot that you could easily get hooked on; the mystery was definitely very interesting. It seemed as if everyone wanted to kill Henry the Hippo and even once Teddy...more
I think its a good book. Its like the who dun it books. But instead of the butler its the hippopotamus who dies. The book is about a boy called Teddy. He lives at a place called Fun Jungle. Its a zoo. His parents are animal specialist. He has a nice life but when Henry the hipo dies. He is on the case. This book is full of mystery and drama but it also has lots of funny bits. You will be surprised who did IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This book was UTTERLY AMAZING. I don't see how a person could make a story out of a dead hippo in a theme park! In the book Belly Up, a book fused with trust, suspicion, friendship, danger, adventure, and friends, a teenage boy with a celeb teen girl, Summer, run around dodging troubles with black mambas and tigers. The hold their own secret investigation-- who murdered Henry the Hippo?
Alex Murphy
I liked this mystery. It was fun and quirky, I liked that it was at a zoo and that you learned a lot about animals. BUT this book was wildly inappropriate for the age that it is marketed towards. The cover makes it look like it's for third -fifth graders. But it's more geared towards fifth-eighth. The vocabulary is up there, along with scientific names for things. That's not what is making this book go up so high on the age scale.

It's strange phrases like 'hauling ass' 'pissed off' 'crapping on...more
Salma Ibrahim
Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs is a great book and it make me think about who did what throughout the whole story. In the story a hippo named Henry has been murdered! This made me think about who did what throughout the story because I wanted to know who killed Henry, the hippo. ¨There's also a possibility that someone killed Heny on purpose.¨ This quote explains that Henry may have been murdered. This proves that their is a mystery of who killed Henry . I can infer that the story keeps you interested...more
Born and raised in the African jungle, Ted now finds himself stranded 30 miles from the nearest anything in the Texas plains at FunJungle, the newest and most habitat friendly zoo. His parents are among the best of all those collected to design the habitats and study the animals. But two weeks after FunJungle opens to the public, the zoo mascot, Henry the Hippo, is found hooves up in his pool.
The cover art and the title drew me in. This mystery takes off with humor and seriousness combined. T...more
Zoe Mark
To me a book about a hippopotamus dying did not seem to be very interesting, but I read it so that I could get to the next book. It turns out that it was really fun to read. This book is about a boy who lives in the biggest Zoo in the world, FunJungle. His parents are both employees there and so he lives in a trailer park with the rest of the employees. He knows everything that is happening around the park so when a hippopotamus turns up dead, he is the first to go see it. What he finds out abou...more
Excellent! a fun mystery with quirky characters , in the vein of Hiassen.
Meher Pahuja
This book is fantastic. It's about Teddy, a 13 year old boy who lives at the Zoo and one of his adventures there. The Zoo's mascot, Henry the Hippo turns up dead and Teddy is eager to investigate. At first, he's in for some excitement but as time goes on, things get start to get dangerous...

I think it's well written, the plot is strong and it's a "fun" read. For most of the time I was hooked, but at the start it is a bit slow.

I think that most people will like this book as it has a little bits...more
Dawn Teresa
Originally posted on ReadLove .

Belly Up is a smart, funny middle grade mystery that should appeal to both boys and girls. Stuart Gibbs’ employment history includes working at the Philadelphia Zoo so the novel is informed by life experience, and readers will learn much about the workings of a zoo. There are times — mostly when facts are imparted about zoos, business, or economics – that the narrative voice is not quite representative of a twelve-year-old boy. When it comes to dialogue though, Ted...more
“Adults seemed more interested in keeping an eye on me than learning who’d killed Henry … But I was determined to find the murderer.”
Who would want to murder a hippo? And not just any hippo, the most famous hippo in the world: Henry the Hippo of FunJungle fame. This is Teddy’s quest. To find answers. True, Henry wasn’t’ the most likeable beast in the world: he bit zookeepers and crushed them against the wall and other disgusting things, but did someone hate him enough to murder him? Teddy is joi...more
Henry the Hippo has gone belly up and Teddy decides that it is his mission to find out who exactly killed him. Henry is the mascot for FunJungle the zoo theme park where Teddy and his family live. It is supposed to be the perfect Zoo, but why did someone kill Henry and why are the adults trying to cover it up? Teddy and his friend Summer set about to investigate. There are chases through the zoo, suspicious characters, animals on the loose, smuggled emeralds, and other shenanigans.

This is a fun...more
Anastasia Tuckness
Basic synopsis: Teddy's parents are animal experts/scientists who lived in Africa most of his life. They moved back to the US to work at Fun Jungle, an amusement park/zoo that actually sounds pretty cool. Until the park mascot goes, well, "belly up." Teddy observes the hippo autopsy and finds out there is evidence of foul play. He begins investigating, eventually with the help of Summer (the owner's daughter), which involves swimming in a pool full of hippo poop (lots of poop in this book!), alm...more
June Morgan
BELLY UP is Stuart Gibbs debut as an author although he has written screenplays for Nickelodeon, Disney, ABC, and Fox. Before that he studied capabaras (the world's largest rodents) and worked at the Philadelphia Zoo.

BELLY UP is refreshing, adventurous, entertaining,and much more. Teddy Fitzroy is a typical boy who has grown up around exotic animals when he lived in Africa. His mother, a noted scientist who studied the behavior of monkeys and his father, a famous photographer have taken jobs at...more
Fun story-would make a good read-aloud. Would appeal to both boys and girls!

"12 year old Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt Fitzroy has got a murder on his hands and trouble on his tail. Henry, the hippopatamus at the brand-new nationally known FunJungle, has gone belly up. Even though it's claimed he died of natural causes, Teddy smells something fishy and it sure ain't the polar bear's lunch. Dealing with the zoo's top brass proves to be nothing but a waste of time. They want to see any trace of Henry...more
The lucky 12-year-old narrator, Teddy, gets to live in a zoo since his parents work for an animal theme park in Texas built and owned by one of the richest men in the world, J.J. McCracken. The zoo's famous mascot turns up dead and the boy is convinced the hippo was murdered. However it seems almost everyone at the zoo had a motive for murder and it's up to Teddy to find out who the real killer is, even when the killer is making attempts at Teddy's own life! The book's plot is entertaining and r...more
Victoria Whipple
Why would someone murder a hippo? Especially if that hippo was the face of the big zoo Jungleworld, it's main attraction? That's what Teddy wonders. He teams up with the daughter of the filthy rich zoo owner's daughter to try to solve the mystery...but can he trust her? What about the ex-con who dresses up as one of the zoo characters? Whoever it is, they are serious about keeping Teddy away from his investigation. Teddy is the tween son of a photographer and a gorilla researcher who has lived i...more
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