What It Is About: The story begins with Matthew secluding himself in his room because there he is safe from "germs" and the "dangers" of the outside world. He blames himself for the death of his newborn sibling and can't forgive himself. While he spends his days in the room, convincing his parents that he is alright, he observes the neighborhood from his window. While he watches, he takes notes about the going-ons of all the residents on the street. There are some kids on the street that call Matthew the "Goldfish Boy" because he lives his life in a "bowl". When a little boy on the street goes missing, all the neighbors are sent into a tail-spin trying to locate him. Matthew, with the help of a neighbor girl, take it upon themselves to figure out who is responsible for the missing boy. Their clues and evidence point to different people while some of the residents begin to point to Matthew for being responsible for the missing child.
What I Thought Of It: What a terrific read. I loved it. From page number one to the final word, I enjoyed everything about this story. It wasn't only about Matthew having OCD and dealing with that, but it had several other "sub-plots" that added greatly to the overall story. The author dove into the relationship Matthew had with his parents, his relationship with the neighbor girl, and above all his relationship with himself. A great mystery is aways fun to read about and this one sure had its fill of surprises. At least for this reader. As soon as I finished I brought it into the classroom to share with my readers.
Who Should Read It: Readers in grades four, five, and six are the perfect audience for this top-notch novel. Of course it can also be read by readers in middle-school. The book could either be read alone or shared as a class read aloud. There would be so much to discuss as a class. I can't wait to see what my fourth grade readers think of this story. I hope they like it as much as I did. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars