The London Eye Mystery

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The London Eye Mystery Book Poster Image
Gripping mystery told by kid with Asperger's.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Learning to lie to parents is seen as a sign of progress for the main character.

Violence
Sex

Some kissing with tongue, a mention of "sex stuff."

Language

"Fags" is British slang for cigarettes.

Consumerism

Soft drink, motorcycle, candy brands mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking and smoking, mentions of drugs and needles.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the concerns are minor here: a mention of tongue kissing, and adults smoke and drink. Of more concern is that the main character's learning to lie to his parents is portrayed as a positive development.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written bypeony April 9, 2008

Well-structured, effective mystery

Interesting story with an especially well-done mystery. The family interactions are believable, if not always admirable. In particular, the parents repeatedl... Continue reading
Adult Written byCeci26 February 25, 2009
Teen, 14 years old Written bydakota laton January 15, 2009
Kid, 11 years old April 8, 2015
Pretty engaging and fun and interesting to read. Really mysterious and keeps you reading. Has some sad features and peril though.

What's the story?

When Salim disappears while riding in a sealed pod on the London Eye, his cousins Kat and Ted, who has Asperger's syndrome, try to solve the mystery while their family falls apart and the police are baffled. Finding that the adults won't listen to them or take them seriously, they set off on their own to follow the clues and theories that Ted, whose brain works on \"a different operating system,\" comes up with.

Is it any good?

Aimed at younger readers than Haddon's novel, this one scores on two counts. The first is the mystery: It's tightly constructed and solid. Too often mysteries for kids feel bogus or trumped up, with logic holes a mile wide, but here both the event and its resolution make perfect sense. The second is Ted, whose quirks are mostly endearing, and whose eventual success is so satisfying. The author, though, is careful not to overdo it -- Ted's syndrome is real, not cute, and his own awareness of it is, at times, poignant. For kids who like their mysteries realistic, this will be a welcome addition to a genre that, right now at least, is not exactly burgeoning.

The late Siobhan Dowd wrote this before some of her other books that have already been published. But just before she completed it, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon was released to great acclaim, and it was decided that there were too many similarities to release THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY on schedule. Like Haddon's book, this one is told by a boy on the autistic spectrum (in this case, presumably, Asperger's Syndrome, though this is never stated), and involves the boy solving a mystery.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the unnamed, presumably Asperger's, syndrome the main character has. What are its characteristics? Disadvantages? Difficulties? Are there also advantages? How do they balance out? What would it be like to see the world as Ted does?

Book details

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