4th Grade and Up
Teddy Fitzroy, his family, and some other FunJungle employees have been invited to visit a bison ranch just outside Yellowstone National Park that FunJungle’s owner, J.J. McCracken, is considering purchasing. But as usual, trouble isn’t far behind.
The ranch’s endangered bison have been mysteriously disappearing. Then a massive local grizzly bear named Sasquatch breaks into the house, causing chaos. In the aftermath, Kandace McCracken discovers that her exceptionally expensive sapphire necklace has vanished.
Was it stolen? Or did Sasquatch eat it? (And if so, can it be recovered?) And what’s been happening to the bison?
With over a dozen suspects, it’s up to Teddy to detangle this hairy situation, before his family or friends—or any more expensive objects—become dinner.
Like all the FunJungle books, this one starts out with a chaotic and hilarious scenario. But unlike the other ones, this one is based on real life occurrences. Teddy has already learned from FunJungle that tourists are capable of incredibly stupid acts, but Yellowstone just might have the dumbest tourists on the planet. In fact, the tourists at Yellowstone have done such incredibly boneheaded things that the park rangers have a name for them: tourons. From what I can tell, all the idiotic things the tourists do in the book, like taking a selfie way too close to a wild bison, are based on real tourons. If you don’t believe people can be that stupid, here are a few YouTube videos as proof:
ABC News: Man gets out of car to taunt bison at Yellowstone
Elk rams man at Yellowstone National Park
People either don’t understand how dangerous wild animals are or they don’t understand their own mortality.
Anyway, Books 5 and 6’s mysteries took us out of FunJungle but the stories still took place in Texas. So far this is the only book in the series to completely take place outside of the FunJungle Adventure Park.
Tourons aside, I loved the Yellowstone setting as well as all the information about the history of Yellowstone National Park and its ecosystem, bison and their historical importance, and the treatment of Native Americans in the past and present.
I found it funny how easily Teddy agrees to investigate the missing bison and the missing necklace. In the past, he has been hesitant to investigate a mystery out of fear of getting in trouble or being in danger. Now he just goes with it.
The only problem I had with this book was keeping track of all the characters. There are about a dozen new characters and I kept forgetting who was who. If you have trouble with names, you’ll probably have to keep flipping back to the beginning of the book to refresh your memory.
According to Stuart Gibbs’s website, the eighth FunJungle book will be out spring of 2023. I don’t where the story will be set. I’m hoping for another national park, like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon.