*Starred Review* The facts seem simple enough. While their mothers have coffee, Ted and his older sister, Kat, and their cousin, Salim, wait in a queue to ride the London Eye, an observation wheel that allows those locked in the glass-and-steel capsules to see 25 miles in every direction. A stranger from the front of the line offers one free ticket, and since Salim is the visitor, stopping in London before moving with his mum to New York, he takes it. Ted and Kat see him enter the capsule and follow his ride, but to their shock, he doesn’t exit with his fellow riders. This book, very different from Dowd’s searing A Swift Pure Cry (2007), is much more than a taut mystery. In Ted, Dowd offers a complex young hero, whose “funny brain . . . runs on a different operating system” (seemingly Asperger’s Syndrome) and who is obsessed with shipping forecasts and with his inability to connect well with others. After several long days have passed with no sign of Salim, Ted must use the skills he has and overcome some of his personal challenges to find his cousin. Everything rings true here, the family relationships, the quirky connections of Ted’s mental circuitry, and, perhaps most surprisingly, the mystery. So often the mechanics of mystery don’t bear close scrutiny, but that’s not so here. A page turner with heft. Grades 5-8. --Ilene Cooper
Starred review, Publishers Weekly, December 3, 2007:
"Grabs readers from the beginning and doesn't let go."Starred review, Booklist, January 1, 2008:
“Everything rings true here, the family relationships, the quirky connections of
Ted’s mental circuitry, and, perhaps most surprisingly, the mystery.”Starred review, Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2007:
“This is a well-constructed puzzle, and mystery lovers will delight in connecting the clues.”Starred review, School Library Journal, February 2008:
“A dense mystery tied together with fully fleshed out characters and a unique narrator.”Starred review, The Horn Book, May/June 2008:
“The best mysteries have at their centers gifted but very human sleuths—their abilities balanced by equally significant flaws or idiosyncrasies. This one is no exception.”From the Hardcover edition.