Author: Thompson, Lisa
Emotionally crippled by his obsessive-compulsive disorder, teenager Matthew Corbin rarely leaves his room on a cul-de-sac in London, and he passes the day observing and writing down his neighbors doings from his window--but when a toddler staying next door disappears Matt is the key to solving a mystery and possibly saving a child's life ... if he can manage to expose himself, and his secret guilt to the outside world.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 188674
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 71052
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/15/16)
School Library Journal (12/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2016 Gr 4–6—Watching from his bedroom window, Matthew, called Goldfish Boy because he never leaves his room, is the last person to observe a neighborhood toddler before the child's disappearance. With his hands tightly secured inside rubber gloves, Matthew struggles with an intense fear of germs, brought on by the death of his baby brother. There are few characters who interact with Matthew: his frustrated parents, a girl who lives down the street, and his adjoining neighbors, all of whom are suspects in the toddler's disappearance. The novel successfully weaves Matthew's personal struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder and the search for the missing toddler into a compelling story with a hearty dose of mystery and adventure. Though the topic is serious, the tone is fairly light and the story well-paced, considering the setting rarely changes from Matthew's home. Readers will root for Matthew. VERDICT Recommended for middle grade collections and for use as a classroom read-aloud, ideal for building empathy.—Pilar Okeson, District of Columbia Public Library - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2017 Before his baby brother was stillborn, Matty was able to hide his compulsions fairly well. When his neighbor got pregnant, however, Matt’s OCD kicked into overdrive, and he was unable to face the millions of germs lurking on every surface in the outside world, so he stopped going out. Now, stuck in his house, twelve-year-old Matty watches the neighbors through the windows, taking notes on their comings and goings, which is why he was the last person to see fifteen-month-old Teddy playing alone outside before he disappeared. Though determined to find out who took the toddler, he wants nothing to do with the two other kids in his neighborhood, Melody and Jake, but his anxiety about the outside world means he can’t sleuth on his own. Backstories are filled in steadily, revealing the progression of Matty’s condition, the history of his relationship with Jake (a bullied boy turned bully himself), the domestic tragedies of the neighbors, and the various relationships among them. It’s all gossip with a purpose, however, as Melody and Matty sift clues, dismiss red herrings, and finally, with Jake’s help, nab the culprits after Teddy’s safe return. Meanwhile, Matty himself offers hope and empathy for sufferers of OCD as he tests and transcends his limits until he’s able to imagine a future for himself where he masters his compulsions enough to live, however imperfectly, among his imperfect neighbors. KC - Copyright 2017 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 12/01/2016 Thompson’s debut is a multilayered mystery at once suspenseful and heartrending. Matthew Corbin’s OCD has progressed to the point where he won’t go beyond his bedroom and the office across the hall. When he isn’t washing his hands and cleaning his surroundings, Matthew watches his neighbors in their cul-de-sac. He writes down his observations with meticulous care, and when his neighbor’s grandson, 15-month-old Teddy, suddenly goes missing, he realizes that he could have vital information. Reluctantly, he joins forces with neighbor and classmate Melody to solve the mystery. Simultaneously, Matthew comes to terms with the root of his condition and learns that everyone has secrets and stories. Matthew narrates the story with a voice that is initially stilted and formal but which fills out as he lets go of his fears and develops compassion for his parents and neighbors. By locking into Matthew’s perspective, Thompson amps up the suspense, since the reader can only learn things as Matthew does, but the payoff is well worth the wait. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.