Lily G. is an 11-year-old from North Carolina. She loves to read and is a superior student.

One of the funniest books I have read recently is called Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs. Belly Up is about a dead hippo. Okay I know what you’re thinking, what is so funny about a dead hippo? Well … even though it sounds unusual don’t judge a book by its cover. There is a lot more to the story than just a hippo dying; that’s just how it starts.

So in the story this fat hippo dies —  his name is Henry. So if a regular hippo died there would be some tears shed and the zoo would get a new one but, not with this hippo. Henry the hippo was the zoo’s biggest star. I’m serious, people came from all around America to see a fat hippo sit around all day bathing in his own filth. Then he just mysteriously died of natural causes. It was like he was healthy one day and then just suddenly died.


The zoo decided to perform an autopsy (a medical exam for dead people/animals). A boy named Teddy, whose mom works at the zoo, decided to sneak in when he heard the news and heard the vet say that he died from leakage in Henry’s small intestine. The vet also said that there were too many holes for it to be of natural causes, but Henry probably just ate something he should not have. Still, Teddy was curious if that was really the case and he wondered if somebody gave Henry something they should not have on purpose.  WAS IT MURDER? I guess you will never know if you don’t read this book!

One of my favorite parts in this book was when Teddy had to dive into Henry’s poop-filled enclosure to look for what was supposedly a murder weapon. What made it ever funnier was that Henry pooped more than 10 hippos combined. When he found what he was looking for he got out and took like 15 showers. That’s more showers than my brothers take in a year.

I would recommend this book to kids 8-888 well 888 if you are not dead yet. This is a hilarious book with twist after twist that is so much fun I may have read it like 5 times.



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