I’ve been making the most of my local library lately – discovering books that I’ve missed and picking up ones that have been languishing on my wish list for far too long. One of the joys I’ve discovered is The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd. As a quick side note – if you haven’t come across the Siobhan Dowd Trust then do take a look, they do brilliant work getting books into the hands of kids in areas of social deprivation.
‘Monday 24 May, 11.32a.m. Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. The pod rises from the ground. Monday 24 May, 12.02 p.m. The pod lands and the doors open. People exit – but where is Salim? Even the police are baffled. Ted, whose brain runs on its own unique operating system, and his older sister, Kat, overcome their prickly relationship to become sleuthing partners. They follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin, while time ticks dangerously by…’
The London Eye Mystery is that wonderful mix of strong story and character. The plot is well structured and full of drama, never talking down to the reader or letting the mystery or outcomes become too obvious or too far fetched. It is brilliantly constructed and entirely believable. But the true beauty of this book is the depiction of the characters, particularly the main character, Ted. The London Eye Mystery has the most realistic and sensitive portrayal of a child with Aspergers that I have read. His hopes and his thoughts, the way he responds to his Aspergers and to the responses of others, are all thoughtfully realised. There’s some brilliant analysis of sibling relationships here, with wonderful moments of truth. This book has helped me to understand Aspergers. It has made me think and taught me about the world and my responses to it. And that is everything I could wish for from a book.
Source: my lovely local library (although I loved this book so much that I have since bought myself a copy, with royalties going to the Siobhan Dowd Trust. Get your copy here.