Boxed sets of my books are now in stores!

Troubled by which one of my book series to start first?  Well, now you don’t have to worry any more — because you can get the first edition of all three series at once!  That’s right, Belly Up, Spy School and Space Case are now all available in one handy set: Astronauts, Spies and Hippopotami, the Stuart Gibbs Starter Collection.  Plus, they come in a beautiful, hand-crafted carrying case!  (Otherwise known as a box.)  Check out how beautiful it is!  (And click here to order one.  Or two.  Or twelve.)


Or, are you dealing with a different conundrum: You want to buy all the books in the FunJungle series, but you wish there was a beautiful, hand-crafted carrying case for them as well. (Or, at least, a box.)  Well, your problem is solved, because there is now a FunJungle Collection as well.  Click here to order yours today!



Both sets are perfect for holiday gifts, or for simply putting on your fireplace mantle and inducing gasps of awe and jealousy from your houseguests.

For those of you who are Spy School fans, there are no boxed sets for that series at the moment.  But there might be soon.  Stay tuned…

This is Nola. She’s a northern white rhino. And her species is about to go extinct.




Shortly after I wrote this, Nola passed away.  So now,  instead of four Northern White Rhinos left on earth… there are three.

Here’s the rest of the original post, though:

Nola lives at the San Diego Safari Park.  By all accounts, she as as sweet and good-natured as any animal can be; she’s like a two ton labrador retriever.  And she is one of only four northern white rhinos left on earth.  That’s right: THERE ARE ONLY FOUR OF THESE RHINOS LEFT ON THE ENTIRE PLANET.

There are none left in the wild.  The other three are in a zoo in Europe.  And they’re all too old to breed, which means there is really nothing we can do to save them.  This beautiful creature is going to die out in your lifetime.

If you’ve been paying attention to this blog, you’ll know this isn’t the first time I’ve called attention to this.  However, it seems worth bringing up again.  I’ve been traveling around the USA over the past few weeks, talking about the serious problem of rhino poaching (as it’s at the heart of my newest book, Big Game).  And the school kids I’ve talked to are very, very upset to learn about Nola and the rest of her species.

They’re also very upset to learn about the fact that other rhino species are being killed off at an unsustainable rate, meaning they might go extinct in our lifetimes as well.

They’re upset to learn that on average, THREE RHINOS ARE KILLED ILLEGALLY EVERY DAY.

And they’re also upset to hear that elephants are in serious trouble as well.  Right now, on average, ONE OF THESE BEAUTIFUL CREATURES IS BEING KILLED ILLEGALLY EVERY 14 MINUTES.  THAT’S 96 ELEPHANTS A DAY.



Tanzania estimates it has lost 60% of its elephant population over the last five years.

If you want to get involved, there are many great organizations working to help stop the slaughter.  Please check out at least one of these to find out what you (and your family, and your friends, and your school) can do:

And check out the Save The World tab at the top of this page to learn about other organizations protecting wildlife and their habitats around the world.

Let’s try to make sure that other species don’t suffer the same fate that Nola will.



Barnes & Noble is printing an exclusive edition of Big Game!

Did you enjoy the B&N exclusive edition of Evil Spy School, with its 32 pages of hilarious bonus material, secret map on the inside of the book jacket, and super-shiny cover?  Well, here’s some very exciting news:  B&N is going to have an even-more-awesome exclusive edition of Big Game!


(For those of you who missed out on the special edition of ESS, I tried to tell you about it.  Honest.  I had a post on this very blog.  Plus links!  And I tweeted and used all sorts of other social media.  I even came to your house to talk to you personally, but you weren’t home.  You can still get it, though.  Just click here.)

The exclusive edition of Big Game also has 32 bonus pages of hilarious additional material, and a secret surprise on the inside of the book jacket, and a super shiny cover.  (See it above?  Ooooooh.  Shiny!)  I worked really hard on it, and so did Lucy (my amazing cover designer) who put together some great extra artwork.

Now, I bet you’re saying to yourself, “Hmmm.  32 extra pages of bonus material, a surprise inside the book jacket and a shiny cover?  Boy, I’ll bet that’s gonna run me an extra $300.”

Well, you’d be wrong!  The exclusive edition will run you and extra… 24 cents.

That’s right, for less than the cost of… um… honestly, I don’t even know if anything costs a quarter any more… but anyhow, for less than a quarter, you get all that great stuff!  And you get the rest of the book, too!

Just run down to your local Barnes & Noble store on October 13.  Or click here to preorder it!

This seems like a pretty good time to reveal the animal in FunJungle #4…

I know, I know.  FunJungle #3 (Big Game) isn’t even out yet (though it will be soon… October 13th!) and I’m already talking about FunJungle #4 (pub date: sometime in spring 2017).  But there’s been some exciting news this week that’s relevant to the story.

This weekend, at the National Zoo in Washington DC, not one… but two giant panda cubs were born.  Now, the birth of any giant panda is cause for celebration, seeing as there are less that 2,500 giant pandas remaining in the world today.  (About 1,800-1,900 in the wild and 300 or so in zoos.)  So twins is doubly exciting — although they can present problems for Mom.

Which leads me to the amazing reveal that… The animal at the center of the mystery in FunJungle #4 will be…

A duck.

OK, it’s a giant panda.

Why a giant panda?  Because everyone loves giant pandas.  Even more than people love koalas.  A while back, when I was doing research for Big Game at the San Diego Zoo, I happened to mention to some of the staff that a koala was at the center of poached because I was trying to choose an animal that people adored and they all looked at me like I was an idiot and asked, “Then why didn’t you choose a panda?”

I mean, look at them.  They’re adorable, all right.


(Now, if you’re read Poached, you know that a panda couldn’t have been swiped the same way that a koala could have, so the mystery wouldn’t have worked out the same way.  But still, they had a good point.)

I was already well down the road to writing Big Game, so I had to shelve the panda idea until book four.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking: You have more questions about book #4.  What happens to the panda?  Which characters are returning?  What’s going on with Teddy and Summer?

Well, I’m not going to answer any of those questions right now.  In fact, I’m not answering any questions about FJ4 for a long time.  (Why?  OK, I’ll answer that question… kind of.  Just find my recent post about why I’m not answering any questions about Spy School 4.)

But in the meantime, to assuage your annoyance at me for dropping the panda bomb and then moving on, here’s another bit of bear news from the week: Folks in Alaska spotted a grizzly rolling down a hill, apparently just for fun.  Click here to see it.  It’s ridiculously cute.

This has been one insanely awful week for African wildlife

If you care about animals at all, this has been one of the worst weeks I can ever remember for news about African wildlife — and it’s only Wednesday.

First off, on Sunday, the New York Times ran an editorial revealing that ONE ELEPHANT IS KILLED EVERY 14 MINUTES IN AFRICA.  Every 14 minutes!  That means that, by the time you finish reading this post, there’s a good chance an elephant will have been slaughtered.

Then came the news that Cecil, a beloved lion at Hwange National park in Zimbabwe, had been killed by a hunter after being lured out of the sanctuary with a dead animal tied to a car.  In my upcoming novel Big Game, I try to shine a little light on the idea that hunters can support conservation efforts — but this is a pretty egregious violation of that argument.  A lot of people seem to agree.  The Minnesota dentist who shot Cecil has been shamed on the Internet and the government of Zimbabwe is considering leveling charges of poaching against him.

Then, yesterday, news came that Nabire, an African northern white rhino at a zoo in the Czech republic, has died, meaning that THERE ARE NOW ONLY FOUR NORTHERN WHITE RHINOS LEFT IN THE WORLD.

That’s right.  FOUR.  There’s no way to sugarcoat this:  Those rhinos will go extinct in your lifetime.


So what can you do?  Sadly, the best things involve money: There are plenty of good organizations out there fighting to protect the animals we have left, but the best way to support them is with donations.  (You might want to hit your parents up for this.  Or have a bake sale.  Or donate a bit of your birthday money.  Every little bit helps.)

If you’re concerned about those elephants, the Center for Biological Diversity is placing pressure on the US government to get more involved.  Did you know it’s still legal to import ivory in most states?  Well, the Center is trying to stop that.  Click here to help.

If you’re concerned about rhinos, try

And if you don’t have any money, but still have a few seconds, the absolute least you can do is visit the Rainforest Site and click on the green button every day.  It costs absolutely nothing, takes almost no time, but still protects endangered habitat.

Sorry for the downer post, but honestly, something has to be done about all this.

Boxed sets of my books are coming this fall!

Hello, readers!

I’m blogging today to share some very exciting news with all of you (although you probably have figured it out from the heading of my post):

This fall, my publisher, Simon & Schuster, will be releasing boxed sets of some of my books.

There will be two different sets: The FunJungle set:


And the Stuart Gibbs Starter Set, with the first book from all three of my series (Belly Up, Spy School and Spaced Out):


They look awesome, right?

Now, I suppose you might be saying to yourself, “Boxed sets?  Big deal.  I’ve already read all Stuart Gibbs’s books, so what on earth do I need a boxed set for?”

Well, let me explain how this benefits you.

Suppose you have a very good friend, and they’re always coming to you for book advice, because you are a very shrewd, intelligent and discriminating reader.  (Literally discriminating, of course.  Not racially discriminating.)  So, you suggest my books.

And your friend says, ‘Well, which series should I start first?’

Well, now you don’t have to pick!  Just tell them to get the starter set!

Or, suppose you recommend the FunJungle series.  And your friend gets all whiny and says, “Wait.  I’m going to have to get three separate books?  Without some sort of convenient box to hold them all?”

To which you can now say, “Actually, you can get all three books and a convenient box to hold them!”

After which, your friend will no doubt rejoice and probably give you a hug and/or gifts in thanks.

See?  It benefits both of us.

Or, I suppose it just makes gift-giving easier.

Whatever the case, I’m quite happy about it.  Because I am now in the boxed-set pantheon along with such other great writers as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein and J.K. Rowling and even some people with actual first names and not just initials.

Here’s the cover for Spaced Out! (Plus, other intriguing book cover news.)

OK, I know I said I was off social media for all of June (and I almost made it) but sometimes, things come up.  Like, the official release of a cover for a new book. While I was off-line, it turns out that my publisher released the cover for Spaced Out (the sequel to Space Case).  And they also revealed the new release date for that book: April 5, 2016.  In the meantime, check out the awesome cover (once again, the amazing work of Lucy Cummins):




Now, I know there has already been a little bit of media buzz on this, mostly circulating around the question, “Why a milk carton?”  And some folks have already nailed the answer: because there was a period of time when the faces of kids who had gone missing were placed on milk cartons.  Hopefully, this has allowed people to deduce what this novel is about: It’s not another murder on the moon.  Instead, this time, one of the lunarnauts mysteriously vanishes.  (I will post more details about this in a while.)

Anyhow, I hope you all think this cover is as great as I do.  (If you haven’t already, look closely at that cow on the side of the milk carton.  It has a space helmet on.)

Meanwhile, there’s some other book cover news to share.  Did you know that book covers go through drafts, just like books themselves?  Some of you might recall that the cover for ‘Poached’ changed from the original release cover, going from a darker color scheme to a more eye-catching lighter color scheme.  Well, something similar has happened with the cover of ‘Big Game.’  The original cover had a black rhino on it, but we noticed that the black rhino kept fading into the background (especially when viewed on computer screens).  Plus, the rhino in the story isn’t black anyhow.  It’s gray.  So the cover has been altered to now feature a more eye-catching gray rhino:

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 11.55.38 AM


Better, right?  Oh, and for those of you who have been asking, the movie ‘Big Game’ which came out last weekend had nothing to do with my book.  This just happens some times.  There’s only so many titles to go around out there.  To be honest, I have no idea why a movie about a US President (played by Samuel L Jackson) on the run from assassins in Finland is called ‘Big Game,’ but that’s the title and there was nothing we could do about it.  Sorry for any confusion.

An answer to your burning questions about Spy School #4

Hello, readers!

First of all, thanks to all of you for being such great supporters of my work.  It has been a thrill to hear from so many people who have read Evil Spy School so soon after it has come out and who can’t wait to hear about Spy School #4.  I have been getting deluged with all sorts of questions about what will happen next.

And I am going to answer only one of them.


Because answering every question everyone writes to me takes way too much time.

To respond to everyone individually just sucks up an enormous amount of my day, every day.  And that’s time I probably should be spending writing Spy School #4 itself.  (I’ll bet lots of you would probably prefer I spend my time writing SS4 as well.)  I promise all of you that, eventually, I will put some info about SS4 on this site, but you’ll just have to be patient until then.  I know that you have questions, and I know that you desperately want answers to them, but please be aware that, as a writer, I’d really prefer that you not have the answers to every possible question you can think of before you start reading.  It’s more fun for me (and you) for you to not know too much about the next adventure in this series.

So now, here’s the answer you’ve been waiting for.  The answer to the question I have received the most:

Is there going to be a Spy School #4 — and will the series keep going after that?

(Technically, that’s two questions, but what the heck, I’ll answer both.)

As you may have deduced from this post already, there is definitely going to be an SS4.  As of right now, it won’t be out until fall of 2016.  (Why?  Because I have two more books — Big Game and Spaced Out — coming out before that.  And I still have to write SS4.)

And yes, the series will continue after that.  I definitely have an idea for book 5.  I don’t know how many books will be in the series or anything like that.

Also, I don’t know what SS4 is going to be called yet.  (Which is why I keep referring to it as ‘SS4.’)  In fact, I may not know the title until shortly before the book comes out.

Further information will be coming.  It may be several months, though.

Keep calm and carry on.


Spy School made the New York Times bestseller list!

When you set out to be an author, you have a few dreams.  And I’m betting that most of us dream of making the New York Times bestseller list.  It is the list in publishing.  And next Sunday, for the first time, I will be on it.  Thanks to the strong sales of Evil Spy School’s opening week — which also boosted sales of Spy School and Spy Camp, I hit #7 on the series list.  Check it out!

CCE00002 copy 2


A couple super-cool things about this:

#1) I am above Harry Potter!  (OK, yes, Harry Potter has been on there for several years, but still, I beat it.)

#2) I hit the series list with only three books.  This list is exceptionally hard to crack, because it takes the sales of every book in the series into account.  So a series like, say Harry Potter, with seven books — has a distinct advantage at getting on the list.  In fact, my fearless publisher had claimed that it was almost impossible to break into the series list — so he was extra-thrilled when I did it.

#3) An amusing anecdote about all this.  By a strange twist of fate, I happened to be at my publisher’s offices when the news came in.  I was changing into a tuxedo at the time.  This was the same day of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Awards ceremony, for which Space Case was a nominee.  Normally, I would have been changing at my hotel, but I had already checked out of my hotel, as I had to get to Connecticut that night for school visits the next day — and I had shipped my tuxedo to my editor so that I didn’t have to carry it around for two weeks of book tour before the Edgars.  So, there I am, changing into my tux (which is a very james Bond thing to do) in a spare office when there is a knock at the door and my editor and publisher inform me that I have just hit the NY Times List.  So, I came out, not quite dressed, to celebrate.  Here’s me with Kristin Ostby, my awesome editor.  (She was also dressed for the Edgars, but she had managed to get her shoes on by this time.)



Point being, it was very nice to learn about the Times while I was at Simon & Schuster and could celebrate with everyone, rather than say merely getting a phone call.  (I did eventually get my shoes on, and get to the Edgars.  I didn’t win.  But landing on the List was an awfully nice consolation prize.)

Answers to your burning questions about Big Game (FunJungle #3)

All right fans, now that the release date for Evil Spy School is coming up, the deluge of questions about that book has dropped off, only to be replaced with a deluge of questions about Big Game, the third book in the FunJungle series.  So I figured I ought to answer some of them.


When is Big Game coming out?

October 13, 2015

What happens in this one?

The main plot in this book is that someone is trying to kill Rhonda, one of FunJungle’s endangered asian rhinos.  So this time, Teddy is in a race to figure out the identity of the hunter and stop them before Rhonda ends up dead.

Ooh!  Sounds exciting!

It is.

Although rhino poaching sounds like a pretty serious topic.  Why did you choose to write about that?

Well, first of all, let me say that the book is still quite funny, just like Belly Up and Poached were.  But you’re right, rhino poaching is a serious issue.  The reason I decided to take it on though, is be cause 1) it’s important and 2) many of my readers seems to be very concerned about environmental topics like this.  Sadly, there’s a decent chance that there might not be any rhinos left in the wild in the near future if something isn’t done about poaching, and so I felt my readers might want to know more about it — although, hopefully, through my book, they can learn about it in an amusing way.

Wait.  Did you say that, in the near future, there might not be any rhinos left on earth?  How long are we talking here?

It depends.  It could be thirty years.  Could be less.  It depends on the species.  When I started writing Big Game, there were seven North African White Rhinos left in the world.  Now, there are only five.  And they’re all probably too old to breed, so that species is going to be extinct soon.  (If you’d like too see what they look like, this is Nola, one of the last five left):


Aw, man, now I’m kind of depressed.

You should be.  This is depressing stuff.  But maybe, you’ll take those feelings and do something positive with them, like support a charity like  Or

Um… you did say funny stuff happens in this book, right?  It’s not all preachy and stuff, is it?

No, it’s not preachy.  There’s plenty of funny.  Plus lots of action and adventure.  I just felt that putting the life of an endangered animal at stake would really heighten the tension.

Is Summer in it?

Of course.

How about J.J. and Pete Thwacker and Doc and Teddy’s parents and Xavier?

Yes, they’re all in it too.  Pretty much everyone you’ve met in previous books is back in this one.

Even Vance Jessup?

Er… no.  Not him.

What about Large Marge?  Is she back?

Oh yes.  Marge is back and causing even more trouble for Teddy than ever.

How so?

Well, in addition to the rhino hunter, there’s another criminal on the loose at FunJungle.  A very destructive their has been robbing a lot of the stores in the park.  And Marge suspects Teddy is the real culprit.

Ooh.  So Teddy has two crimes to solve in this one?


What happens with Summer and Teddy?  Are they going to start dating?

Wow, you wouldn’t believe how many times I get asked this.  It’s probably the number one question I get.

Are you saying I’m unoriginal?

No!  It just kind of surprises me.  But I guess that means my readers are really invested in what happens with Teddy and Summer.

We are!  So… What happens?

Well, I really don’t want to spill the beans on this. Let’s just say that it’s a question on Teddy’s mind as well.

Aw, man.  You’re really not going to say anything more?

Sorry.  But I have to keep some things secret.  You’re just going to have to wait for the book.