Chomp by Carl Hiaasen - 290 pages; 6 hrs., 13 min.
Wahoo Cray's family business is animal wrangling. Their Florida backyard menagerie includes alligators, snakes, monkeys, raccoons, snapping turtles, and more. But NO iguanas ever since a rare freeze turned one into a frozen projectile that gave Wahoo's dad a serious head injury.
Since his dad has been unable to work the family can't pay their bills. This forces his mom to (reluctantly) take a temporary teaching job in China to help out.
Now that school is out for summer, Wahoo's dad can accept a lucrative "reality" tv show job using Wahoo as his assistant. But the star of the show, Derek Badger, is phony and arrogant--two things Wahoo's dad cannot tolerate. Between taking care of the animals and acting as a buffer between his dad and the tv crew Wahoo has his hands full. And then a classmate shows up with a black eye from her father!
The book is well written with plenty of heroics and just deserts. I think most older elementary and middle school students would thoroughly enjoy it.