Monday, March 10, 2008

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

This is the most enjoyable children's book I've read in a long time. Granted, I love mysteries, and I am interested in quirky people, which the main character of this book certainly is. The book begins with a pretty detailed description of the London Eye, a huge ferris-wheel-type tourist attraction in London, and then jumps right into the mystery - the disappearance of Ted and Kat's cousin Salim from one of the pods of the Eye. He went up, but he didn't come down. There is a lot of insight into how Ted's brain works, even though the author never comes right out and says what his condition is called (probably some form of Asperger's Syndrome). The last two sentences of the first chapter kind of sum it up. "Somewhere, somehow, in the thirty minutes of riding the Eye, in his sealed capsule, he had vanished off the face of the earth. This is how having a funny brain that runs on a different operating system from other people's helped me to figure out what had happened." Solving the mystery requires Ted to form a partnership with his sister Kat, who is not usually a fan of his, learn to tell lies, and travel on the underground (subway) by himself for the first time. Not to mention tailing a motorcycle gang member and staking out a pub! Review by Stacy Church

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