Book Reviews of The London Eye Mystery

The London Eye Mystery
The London Eye Mystery
Author: Siobhan Dowd
ISBN-13: 9780375849763
ISBN-10: 0375849769
Publication Date: 2/12/2008
Pages: 336
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Rating:
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 4

4.4 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The London Eye Mystery on + 412 more book reviews
This review applies to the audio version.

A young adult mystery told from the point of view of Ted Spark, a 12-year-old Londoner with (what I presume is--it's never actually named) Aspberger's Syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism. Ted is good with numbers, scientific concepts and deductive reasoning, but he has a very difficult time socially. As he puts it, "the pc in my brain operates on a different operating system than most people's."

When Ted's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye, Ted and his somewhat rebellious older sister Kat try to piece together what happened to him. Salim is visiting with his mother (Ted's Aunt Gloria) before they are due to move to New York in a few days, where Gloria will have a job at an art museum. Gloria and her sister, Ted's mum, Faith, aren't terribly close and it's been several years since Salim and his family visited from Manchester, so they don't really know Salim. Did he leave of his own accord, or did someone abduct him?

Ted's main interest was in HOW he disappeared, since he and Kat watched him get on the Eye and watched his pod (as well as several others, in case they were wrong about which one he was on) empty out afterwards with no sign of him. A very wonderful story, told with an interesting protagonist's voice.

At first, I was a bit annoyed by the reader--he had a kind of high, nasal, breathless voice with a sort of staccato rhythm that was hard to listen to. Then I realized that he was trying to talk that way, since he was using Ted's voice to set the tone for the story, and he did a really good job.

I was hoping that this was the first of a series featuring the Spark kids, but unfortunately it isn't--the author died in 2007 at the age of 47 of breast cancer, and while she did write several other books for kids and young adults, this wasn't a series. She was passionate in life about getting kids to read, making books accessible to disadvantaged children, and in the last few months of her life set up a trust geared towards funding ways to get books in the hands of underprivileged kids.

On her website, Siobhan had a motto posted that says, "If a child can read, they can think. And if a child can think, they are free." This so exemplifies my own childhood experience with reading that I've decided to contribute to her Trust in 2010 rather than purchase any new books for myself. You rock, Siobhan!
reviewed The London Eye Mystery on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Good young adult and middle grade mysteries are sometimes hard to come by. THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY by Siobhan Dowd is one you won't want to miss.

It all starts when Ted's cousin, Salim, comes to visit. Salim and his mother are about to move to New York City and have planned a family visit in London before their departure. Of course, what is a visit to London without a ride on the London Eye? That's when the trouble begins.

Ted and his older sister, Kat, haven't seen much of their cousin in the past. The visit starts out on a wrong note because of the unusual sleeping arrangements required by their tiny house. Kat is unhappy about bunking on the couch, and Ted is unhappy with the disruption of his whole routine. As Ted explains, he suffers from a "syndrome," which he defines by stating that his brain runs on "a different operating system" than everyone else. His judgment of other people's emotional responses is a bit off, and his views of the world around him tend to be quite literal. (I'm guessing that he suffers from some form of autism.)

Salim turns out to be quite a pleasant visitor. His only request is to take a ride on the London Eye, a massive ferris wheel attraction in the center of London. When the cousins and their mothers arrive at the Eye, they find the ticket line and actual ride line disappointingly long. Relief comes when a stranger offers one ticket, free of charge, to Salim. Ted and Kat eagerly accept the ticket and pocket the original ticket money from their mother as they rush Salim to the waiting ride.

The mystery begins when Salim doesn't disembark from the London Eye at the conclusion of his ride. Ted and Kat have as many as nine different theories. Was he kidnapped? Did he actually go on the ride at all? How could he have vanished so completely?

Quirky characters, London scenery, and a who-dun-it style combine to make this a sure hit. The late Siobhan Dowd, author of A SWIFT PURE CRY, outdid herself once again.
reviewed The London Eye Mystery on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Good young adult and middle grade mysteries are sometimes hard to come by. THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY by Siobhan Dowd is one you won't want to miss.

It all starts when Ted's cousin, Salim, comes to visit. Salim and his mother are about to move to New York City and have planned a family visit in London before their departure. Of course, what is a visit to London without a ride on the London Eye? That's when the trouble begins.

Ted and his older sister, Kat, haven't seen much of their cousin in the past. The visit starts out on a wrong note because of the unusual sleeping arrangements required by their tiny house. Kat is unhappy about bunking on the couch, and Ted is unhappy with the disruption of his whole routine. As Ted explains, he suffers from a "syndrome," which he defines by stating that his brain runs on "a different operating system" than everyone else. His judgment of other people's emotional responses is a bit off, and his views of the world around him tend to be quite literal. (I'm guessing that he suffers from some form of autism.)

Salim turns out to be quite a pleasant visitor. His only request is to take a ride on the London Eye, a massive ferris wheel attraction in the center of London. When the cousins and their mothers arrive at the Eye, they find the ticket line and actual ride line disappointingly long. Relief comes when a stranger offers one ticket, free of charge, to Salim. Ted and Kat eagerly accept the ticket and pocket the original ticket money from their mother as they rush Salim to the waiting ride.

The mystery begins when Salim doesn't disembark from the London Eye at the conclusion of his ride. Ted and Kat have as many as nine different theories. Was he kidnapped? Did he actually go on the ride at all? How could he have vanished so completely?

Quirky characters, London scenery, and a who-dun-it style combine to make this a sure hit. The late Siobhan Dowd, author of A SWIFT PURE CRY, outdid herself once again.