Guilherme Schneider Schneider itibaren Morar Ruriwala, Pakistan
Well-written book with an unexpected ending.
I admit that I took this book seriously when I read it many years ago. I really felt for Alice’s feeling awkward and like an outsider. What happened rang true enough to me; I knew plenty of fellow high school kids in the 60s and 70s in San Francisco who lived like Alice both before, during, and after her drug use. I was devastated by the ending. Now, reading that this book was possibly published as anti-drug propaganda, I’m thinking that was a campaign wasted: I think this book actually somewhat glorifies drug use. Certainly as a weight loss technique. What is made seem horrifying to me were the violent school bullies, not the ramifications of illegal drug use.
The London Eye Mystery By Siobhan Dowd Published by David Fickling Books 2007 Fiction: Mystery The London Eye Mystery is a fun adventure, with twists and turns that kids will enjoy. There are many elements of this mystery story that add together to make a wonderful whole. This book is written by a British author and therefore contains the British spellings and words, like lilo and queue. Rather than being discouraged by this, I think that reading a novel from across the pond can illuminate aspects of another culture. Reading can be a broadening experience. The mystery centers around the disappearance of Ted and Kat's cousin Salim. He goes up for a ride on the London Eye and doesn't come back down. The family is so distraught they completely discount Ted and Kat's theories, so it is up to the kids to save the day. They piece together clues and run around London trying to find Salim. By taking matters into their own hands, Kat and Ted help bring Salim home safe. The action moves at a pace that is conducive to following along with the story. The reader may have an idea of what happened to Salim and try to solve the mystery early on, but will quickly find more complexity in the situation. A good mystery keeps one involved and wanting to know the answer and this book does just that. The setting is also very appealing to kids, in that they can learn more about London and it's famous landmarks. This can support further learning or even a summer vacation to London! The theme of family plays an important role in The London Eye mystery. The adults won't listen to the kids and the parents fight with the children. The book portrays parent-child relationships in a very realistic way. They scream and cry, especially under the stress of having lost one of their own. In the end, however, there is great love, understanding and support between all family members. The London Eye Mystery shows that sticking together as a family is important, even when facing an extremely difficult situation. Another reason to love this book is Ted. Ted is wired differently. Early on this is apparent, as he counts his cereal pieces and flaps his hand a lot. At first the reader doesn't understand why he does this or why the author is placing such emphasis on it. One learns more and more about Ted: he thinks differently, he doesn't have many friends, he can't read facial expressions, he doesn't understand expressions (like glass half full) and flaps his hands a lot. It is never stated what the doctors have diagnosed Ted with (something like OCD or aspergers) but he is clearly a very different boy. By making him the hero of the story, the author acknowledges that different can be special and worthy of love and friendship. I really like the idea of having a kid with certain social issues be the main character and portrayed in a very positive light. It will help those feeling ostracized and lonely realize that even if they are different, they are still smart and socially capable.