FunJungle Mysteries

Belly Up (FunJungle #1)Belly Up
by Stuart Gibbs
Grades 3 & up

Henry the Hippo, the not-so-beloved mascot of FunJungle, has just been found dead in Hippo River, possibly murdered. Since the FunJungle management wants to keep it on the down low, Teddy decides to investigate it himself. Teddy lives at FunJungle with his mother, a primatologist, and his father, a wildlife photographer. Having lived in the Congo most of his life, he is comfortable around the animals. They make more sense to him than most things at this amusement park in the middle of Texas. His investigation becomes more and more dangerous as he uncovers a wide variety of suspects and it becomes clear that someone is attempting to silence him. Can he uncover the Hippo’s killer before he is the next victim? An exciting and funny mystery for grades 3 & up.

The only downside of this book for me was the fat jokes and stereotypes sprinkled throughout. They were not necessary for the story, just for cheap laughs.

Poached (FunJungle #2)Poached
by Stuart Gibbs
Grades 4 & up

Teddy Fitzroy lives at FunJungle, a themed zoo in the middle of Texas, since his parents both work there. Known for his pranks, he is coerced by the school bully to throw a mannequin arm into the shark tank. The unfortunate timing of the incident turns him into the prime suspect in the disappearance of a koala on loan from Australia. Can Teddy prove his innocence and find the real koala-napper before he is caught and arrested? Will his parents lose their jobs? An exciting mystery with plenty of intrigue and red herrings. It is the sequel to Belly Up, but stands well enough on its own. Recommended for grades 4 & up.

Big Game (FunJungle #3)Big Game
by Stuart Gibbs
Grades 3 & up

In this third book in the FunJungle series, seventh grader Teddy has another mystery on his hands. Someone has taken a shot at Rhonda the Asian rhinoceros, who is not only endangered but pregnant as well. Since rhinoceros horns are extremely valuable, the zoologists are concerned that poachers are targeting the rhinos in the park. Teddy wants to investigate, and this time JJ McCracken actually requests his help. Together, Teddy and Summer track clues through the park. They find themselves in situations that are either humorous or dangerous as the mystery unfolds. There are plenty of suspects as well as nighttime encounters with a variety of animals. Without being heavy-handed or taking away from the action-packed story, Mr. Gibbs provides excellent information about the importance of protecting Rhinos and other endangered species. Recommended for grades 3 & up. I suggest reading the series in order.

Panda-monium (FunJungle, #4)Panda-monium
by Stuart Gibbs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this fourth FunJungle mystery, the zoo is expecting delivery of a Giant Panda that they have been allowed to host. Unfortunately, when the truck arrives, neither Li Ping nor Doc are inside. This is not just a problem for FunJungle, it has the potential to turn into an international incident since all Giant Pandas are considered the property of the Chinese government. Not trusting the FunJungle security team (since they have done such a great job in the past), the FBI is called in and Teddy is asked to stay away from the investigation. But the head of the FBI team is none other than Marge O’Malley’s sister. The sisters are polar opposites. Marge blackmails Teddy into investigating, hoping to put her sister in her place. Alternating between hilarious escapades and imminent danger, fans of the FunJungle series will be glued to the unfolding mystery. I suggest reading the books in order for the greatest appreciation. Recommended for grades 3 and up.

eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss

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