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The London Eye mystery
Siobhan Dowd
Children's Fiction DOWD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A 12-year-old Londoner with something like Asperger's syndrome narrates this page-turner, which grabs readers from the beginning and doesn't let go. As Ted and his older sister Katrina watch, their visiting cousin Salim boards a "pod" for a ride on the London Eye, a towering tourist attraction with a 360-degree view of the city-but unlike his fellow passengers, Salim never comes down. He has vanished. At the outset Ted explains that he has cracked the case: "Having a funny brain that runs on a different operating system from other people's helped me to figure out what happened." The tension lies in the implicit challenge to solve the mystery ahead of Ted, who turns his intense observational powers on the known facts, transforming his unnamed disability into an investigative tool while the adults' emotions engulf them. Dowd ratchets up the stakes repeatedly: is a boy in the morgue Salim? Has he drowned? Been kidnapped? Katrina and Ted work together to solve the puzzle, developing new respect for each other. The author wryly locates the humor as Ted wrangles with his symptoms (learning to lie represents progress) but also allows Ted an ample measure of grace. Comparisons to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time are inevitable-this release was delayed when Mark Haddon's book (from the same publisher) became a bestseller-but Dowd makes clearer overtures to younger readers. Just as impressive as Dowd's recent debut, A Swift Pure Cry, and fresh cause to mourn her premature death this year. Ages 8-12. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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