FICTION

Poached

336p. S & S. Apr. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781442467774; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442467798. LC 2013000539.
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Gr 5–8—Teddy "Roosevelt" Fitzroy is back after his adventures in Belly Up (S & S, 2010), and he is investigating a new case, despite the fact that all the adults in his life prefer he wouldn't. Billionaire J.J. McCracken's investment is losing money. In an effort not to go belly up, the latest FunJungle attraction is Kazoo, a koala on loan from the Australian government. When Kazoo goes missing, Teddy, who hid in the koala exhibit to escape Large Marge and her security detail after a prank, is the only one seen on security camera footage. "I would never have been accused of stealing the koala if Vance Jessup hadn't made me drop a human arm in the shark tank at FunJungle" muses Teddy in the first line of this whopper of a whodunit that delivers plenty of suspects, action, slapstick, gross bodily functions, red herrings, and animal trivia. This sequel stands alone nicely, and while the mystery is solved at the end, new occurrences promise to make Teddy's life much more interesting in a possible third book.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ
In Belly Up's sequel, twelve-year-old Teddy contends with bullies at school. At FunJungle, the zoo where he lives with his primatologist mother and wildlife-photographer father, things are even worse: Teddy's the prime suspect in a koala kidnapping. Gibbs weaves interesting trivia (newborn koalas are jellybean-size) and plenty of humor (a poop-throwing chimp helps ID an industrial spy/saboteur) into his action-packed mystery.

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