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Belly Up

(FunJungle #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  7,376 ratings  ·  821 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 to be nothing but a wa ...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published May 18th 2010 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Rebecca Weston ;) Me too :) ;)
Rebecca Weston I'd say more of a 10 or 11 age because it has some minor swear words and some larger words. But then again I read it when I was 9 so. I'd say nothing…moreI'd say more of a 10 or 11 age because it has some minor swear words and some larger words. But then again I read it when I was 9 so. I'd say nothing under 9. I had to constantly ask my parents about what certain words meant.(less)

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4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,376 ratings  ·  821 reviews

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Jul 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
BAYA Librarian
Nov 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Kids think butts are hilarious. That's a fact.

Hippo-butt features prominently in this story, which is probably why my kids loved it so much when we read it together. It actually contains a lot of good information about animals but they didn't really notice they were learning because of the hippo that shoots poo at tourists and the cigar-smoking midget clown and other things that make kids giggle. There are also lots of opportunities to do funny voices.

Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes mystery and/or realistic fiction
Recommended to Katie by: Her friends
Belly Up Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs Stuart Gibbs Stuart Gibbs
This is definitely a favorite of mine! Belly Up is mystery but also has some realistic fiction in it (I think). This book is SO gripping and suspenseful!!!! I love this book! It is very good and well written. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a humorous, suspenseful, and amazing book. I would read this book again in a heartbeat!

Update: I am taking a break from this book because I have so many other books!
Elizabeth S
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a fun book. A murder mystery for kids! (Not young kids. I think 3-4th grade and up.) And it works, because the murder victim is a hippopotamus. The characters are fun and entertaining. There is a lot of running around kid-style, meaning kids will enjoy it. And the mystery is actually worth puzzling through for an adult.

It was refreshing to have a book where the kid's parents are a happily married couple. So many books today feature kids with single parents or divorced parents (somewhat repl
Deb Hickenbottom
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookclub
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
Chris Blocker
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-kids
Belly Up was not what I was expecting. I was expecting hilarity. Sure it has a dead hippo on the cover, but the cartoonish of it, plus the colors... Actually, Belly Up is rather morbid. It’s still great fun, but fun in the what’s-gonna-happen-next way, not in the oh-look-monkies! kind of way.

Chapter 1 of Belly Up met my expectations. There’s a mischievous kid in a zoo, dodging the adults who want to put an end to his fun. And then there’s poop. Lots and lots of poo. Poo continues to make appear
Shruti S
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Cute mystery
Teddy's in over his head...literally. He's been living at Fun Jungle, the largest attraction zoo. See, his mom studies apes and has been hired to live and work at the zoo. But when the main attraction, Henry the hippo, turns up dead, it's up to Teddy to find out why his mysterious death is being covered up. But when Teddy finds out that Henry was actually murdered, Teddy becomes a target as well. Will Teddy be able to solve the mystery before its too late?
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a really good book. It is al about a mystery about who killed the hippo named Henry at FunJungle. And who is killing all the some of the other animals in FunJungle. He needs to find out who is doing this and find out if Henry actually got murdered or was it natural causes. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysterys or books about animals.
I was beginning to wonder if it was even possible to write a fantastic mystery for middle grade readers. I was wrong!

The only downsides here are a mention of marijuana, and the phrase "hauling ass," which is going to be off-putting to some parents. But don't let that stop you from giving it to kids with reckless abandon!
Deacon Tom ✝️ Frankenfield
Fun fun fun

I selected this book because my grandson who is a six grader was raving about it. It was great, fast-paced & lots of fun.

I heartily recommend it for pre teens and above.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Addie T
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
12 year old, Teddy Fitzroy has spent all of his life around animals. He grew up in the Congo and now both his parents work at FunJungle, the largest zoo attraction in the U.S. It is located in Texas, 30 minutes away from any real towns. The park is owned by J.J. McCracken, famous for making a lot of money. Teddy's life pretty much stays the same at the zoo until one day they find Henry the Hippo, the parks mascot, laying belly up in his pen. Teddy finds this very unusual considering the park has ...more
Ryan Slattery
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I decided to read Belly Up because it is on the NC children's book award list for 2013. Also I love the covers. My husband even said he would be sad when I finished the book because he enjoyed looking at the cover from across the room. smile.... I thought the book was going to be cute like he cover. Oh my was I wrong. This is a mystery that will keep you wondering up until the end. Of course the murder victim is a crotchety hippo that is the mascot for FunJungle, the most visited tourist attract ...more
Josie Knight
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I don't have access to this book
In this book the main character , teddy has murder on his trail and lots of trouble on his hands . I like this book because for me it really brings me into the aspect of adventure murder and new things everyday and connects me with a different world than I live in. Henry the hippo at the fun jungle has gone belly up they said he died of natural causes but I say that's baloney. The zoo try's to get the murder to disappear like yesterday's paper but that makes tedd
Lauren Lanzilotta
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars, series
I read this book many years ago, but I still remember the endless love I have for it. I spent many crisp October nights out on my porch, huddled in a pile of blankets (only my nine year old self would do such a thing...) while still freezing death, so I went and made myself a tea and continued to read outside. (Once again, only nine year olds are this persistent...) I was just so enraptured by the FunJungle mystery that I forgot about how cold I was until I reached that dreaded last page. This b ...more
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
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!).
Oliver Mathews
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book about a rich man's brand new zoo, "Funjungle" and how it's mascot, a hippo dies. A boy named Theodore went in the autopsy and found that they think it was murdered. He has to find out what or who murdered Henry the Hippo. He has a wild adventure and meets a new friend.
Nikita the bookworm
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
A really great mystery and tons of animal facts! Does not disappoint fans of Stuart Gibbs.
Alyson Kent
Feb 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I usually do not give one star reviews, because I try to find something that I enjoy in the books that I read. I could not get past the first page of this book, because there is a female security guard who is described as “built like a rhinoceros” and that she is constantly following the narrator, who is a 12-year-old boy, around waiting for him to get into trouble. The book opens with him having gotten into said trouble, and that Marge is “shoving (me) up against the rail of the chimp exhibit a ...more
Leona  Carstairs
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
Book: Belly Up
Rating 3.5 stars
Age Range: 8-12

I enjoyed Belly Up. It was a bit slow for the first half but it definitely picks up later. It was fun and I would recommend it for Carl Hiaasen fans.

It's set in a zoo, and follows the murder of a hippo, the zoo's mascot. Teddy, our MC, decides to investigate, sure it is murder. We follow him around the park/zoo as he investigates with the help of Summer, the daughter of the zoo's owner, his parents and other people. This book included lots of interes
Jenna Iden
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this upon the recommendation of a student a few years back. It's a whodunnit, that type of solid mystery that students always clamor for, with the added twist of some detailed zoological knowledge. I enjoyed it, and would happily purchase more books by the same author.
Luke I
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book becuase it take place in a zoo and it is all about animals which I love. It’s about a kid who helps solve the case of a dead hippo and it is hilarious.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Evan loved this book. He said it’s a good mystery with several twists and he’s excited to read the next one in the series.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was so good. I couldn’t put it down.
Benny Dunn
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Teddy is a very funny kid
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