Parents' Guide to

The Goldfish Boy

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Intriguing mystery inspires empathy for kids with OCD.

The Goldfish Boy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+

Enjoyed It, but...

I really enjoyed the book until the end. In my opinion, the end felt rushed and anticlimactic. Overall it was a fun read though.

This title has:

Educational value
age 10+

Surprisingly good

Goldfish Boy is a well-written story that not only grabs you with the main mystery but with sub plots and character development. The internal struggle with OCD is clearly narrated. It is also clearly defined by the boy's doctor. Obsessive is the key word. Obsessive thoughts that lead to compulsive behavior. If you have someone in your life that lives with some form of OCD this book will put you inside their brain. It is not a lecture on OCD. It is a riveting mystery with a believable cast of characters. I have not finished the book yet and already feel it is worth recommending.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Author Lisa Thompson's first novel is an absorbing, intriguing mystery with a compelling hero who's easy to relate to and root for and a plot with lots of surprising twists and turns. All the characters in The Goldfish Boy are well developed, and big kids and tweens will feel a lot of empathy for 12-year-old Matthew as they learn a bit about OCD and what it's like to live with it.

Parents might want to be ready to answer questions and provide reassurance for questions and fears that might come up due to the strong themes of newborn loss and a toddler who disappears under mysterious circumstances. The story provides good examples of learning to cope, and there's a safe resolution to the mystery. It's a great introduction to the "whodunit" genre and provides good examples about seeing things through, keeping at difficult tasks, critical thinking, and jumping to conclusions.

Book Details

  • Author: Lisa Thompson
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Topics: Friendship
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • Publication date: February 28, 2017
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 320
  • Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: July 13, 2017

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