The London Eye Mystery

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


3 thoughts on “The London Eye Mystery

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  1. This sounds like an interesting story – what age range would you say it’s suitable for? I’m interested in stocking it for a primary school library but wasn’t sure if it was more for pre-teens?

    1. Hi Ruth, That’s a tricky one. It really is a fantastic book. I’d say that difficulty storyline and pace-wise it’s perfect for primary school but I would say it’s more suited to the key stage 2 kids, 9+. And if putting it in a school library you should be aware that at one point when the two main characters are talking about the possibility that their cousin has been kidnapped, Kit says to Ted something along the lines of ‘you are so naive, kids can be kidnapped for sex stuff.’ That’s it, no detail given, but might raise some questions with younger kids. I picked it up from the Junior Fiction shelf in my local library.
      Hope that helps.

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