Sunday, April 27, 2014
Disclaimer one: This book was released on April 8, 2014...but I read the advanced readers copy because reasons. Undoubtedly, there will be some minor changes between the copy I read and the published version but I doubt they would be enough to change the important bits of the story.
Disclaimer two: I didn't process that this was a second book in a series. There weren't an overwhelming amount of references to the previous book to the point where I felt the need to read it, and everything was explained well enough that I had no trouble understanding any of the relationships amongst characters or the back story of anyone. In summary, you can probably get away with just reading the second book without having to commit to the first book, but it might be a good idea to read the books in order.
So with all that in mind, an amazon summary, "Teddy Fitzroy’s back for another zoo mystery—this time it’s a koala caper—in this action-packed follow-up to Belly Up, which Kirkus Reviews called “great fun.”
School troublemaker Vance Jessup thinks Teddy Fitzroy’s home at FunJungle, a state-of-the-art zoo and theme park, is the perfect place for a cruel prank. Vance bullies Teddy into his scheme, but the plan goes terribly awry.
Teddy sneaks into the koala exhibit to hide out until the chaos dies down. But when the koala goes missing, Teddy is the only person caught on camera entering and exiting the exhibit.
Teddy didn’t commit the crime—but if he can’t find the real culprit, he’ll be sent to juvie as a convicted koala-napper." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
...keep in mind, that the book I read did not provide a summary stating it was a sequel. MY DEFENSE IS SOUND. SHUSH.
Anways, so Teddy is the main character who seems to be a catalyst for trouble in his school or at the zoo. It begins with Teddy being convinced to do a prank for Vance to put a mannequin arm and foot in the shark tank at the zoo. Teddy does so, but he is almost caught, has a daring escape from security through the park, only to hide in the koala enclosure that due to the haste in which it was constructed, has some faulty aspects to it (like shady security and anti-theft features that don't quite work). Teddy waits out the security in the koala enclosure, winds up going home, telling his parents the story, goes to bed.
The next day, Teddy is accused of kidnapping the koala from the zoo (the koala is on loan from Australia so an international incident could be in the brewing) and Teddy is once again on the run from the zoo security (he lives at the zoo in a trailer park of sorts with his folks who both work for the zoo).
Teddy is the one who needs to clear his name as the security guard is determined to the point of stupidity to prove that Teddy is the one who kidnapped the koala.
Teddy isn't alone in his quest to clear his name; his folks, the zoo owner's daughter, a few folks who work for the zoo, and his best friend all help as much as they can to clear his name.
But who really has the koala? The koala needs special food to eat and time is running out before it starves.
I like a lot of the humor that was throughout this book but there were some realistic situations that made me dislike it a little bit because it rang too true to the real world almost. They were important bits for character building and plot development (in particular Vance's character with all of his bullying), but they were handful of parts that just rankled my spirit. 'Urgh' moments if you will. Still well written and appropriate but just URGH.
But all in all, it was a good read. The ending wrapped it a little too nicely to me (a lot of potential suspects of the koala kidnapping had their actions explained away into other crimes) but that's okay sometimes. It seemed to work for this book as it might be a continuing series. Who knows? I hope there's more. It was fun.