Author: Siobhan Dowd
Year published: 2007
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Number of pages: 336
Recommended age: 9 to 12 years
Daughter's Rating: ★★★★½
Mom's Rating: ★★★★½
Reviewed by Featured Guest Reviewers: Melinda from Mom on the Make and her daughter, Imagineer (9)
Summary (from Amazon): Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim board the London Eye, but after half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off—except Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air? Ted and his older sister, Kat, become sleuthing partners, since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain works in its own very unique way, to find the key to the mystery. This is an unput-downable spine-tingling thriller—a race against time.
What it’s about: The book is about two kids whose cousin, Salim, goes missing on a big giant ferris wheel. Its a big mystery where he went because the ferris wheel, also known as the London Eye, has sealed pods which nobody will be able to get out of. The plot is that Salim’s cousins, Ted and Kat, are trying to find out where he went and what happened to him. The characters are Ted, Kat and Salim. The story takes place in London. I learned to not give up even when things get bad, just keep going.
What I liked and disliked about it: I liked the whole mystery and the way they try to figure it out, and how they say Ted’s brain is kind of like a computer and different from everyone else’s. I didn’t like when it ended. The story made me feel surprised and astonished, kind of sad, and then kind of funny, and that’s it. The funny part was when Salim was taking a bunch of pictures with his camera. The sad part was when Kat and her Mom were fighting.
My bottom line: I might re-read this book some time. Yes, I would recommend it to my friends because I think its a good mystery and its fun to read it, and see when Ted is thinking about the mystery and trying to figure it out. This book was a good book because it had a big mystery, a lot of theories, funny characters, and a happy ending.
What it’s about: Ted and Kat’s cousin, Salim, is in town and they take him to ride the London Eye. Ted and Kat are offered a free ticket from a stranger and give this ticket to Salim. Ted and Kat watch the London Eye diligently to follow Salim’s sealed capsule. When his capsule arrives back to the bottom and the passengers begin to unload, Salim is not amongst the passengers. The mystery begins at this point. What happened to Salim? The main characters are brother and sister, Ted and Kat, and their cousin, Salim. The story takes place in Ted and Kat’s home and around downtown London. Exercising diligence and perseverance in life can deliver great rewards is my takeaway lesson from this book.
What I liked and disliked about it: I love that this story is a page turner. My two oldest kids, ages 11 and 9, are more enthralled with page turner type of books as opposed to slower pace stories. I am always thankful when authors focusing on the 9-12 year age group write spell binding, page turner type stories. My girls stay riveted and they read voraciously with these types of books. I love it!
The characters in this book are very endearing. I really loved witnessing Ted and Kat’s relationship evolve as they worked together to solve the mystery of what happened to their cousin. Reading a story where siblings work well together and respect one another’s unique capabilities always makes me so happy. I just love thinking of my kids reading about respectful sibling relationships, and hope that the story is providing a wonderful example for them.
Ted has what he refers to in the book as “the syndrome”. He describes this as his brain working on a different operating system than most people. I do not remember them naming the syndrome in the book, but have seen in summaries about the book that Ted has Asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s is a high functioning form of autism where the person affected has an intense focus and is overly obsessive about a single topic or object. Because of this condition, Ted is extremely focused on figuring out how this disappearance could have happened. He creates many theories about what could have happened to Salim, and it really is fun to read about his thoughts. I think his thought process is a great example for young readers to see that diligence, focus and creative thinking can really help you in life. In this case, you can solve a huge mystery and help someone in need with your hard work.
My bottom line: I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down. The premise of someone disappearing while riding the London Eye is so interesting in itself. As Ted presents his theories and they work through them to figure out where Salim is, you are on a roller coaster of adventure, and emotional ups and downs. I would recommend this book for 9-12 year old boys and girls. Page turners are fantastic to incorporate into your child’s reading collection, as it keeps them interested in reading. There is nothing better than seeing your kids so riveted to a story, that they are not able to put down the book until they see what happens in the end. The London Eye Mystery is that kind of book.
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