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Publisher's Summary

In this riveting debut, a boy struggling with OCD is uniquely qualified to solve a kidnapping.

Lisa Thompson's debut novel is a pause-resisting mystery with an emotionally driven, complex character study at its core - like Rear Window meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Matthew Corbin suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. He hasn't been to school in weeks. His hands are cracked and bleeding from cleaning. He refuses to leave his bedroom. To pass the time, he observes his neighbors from his bedroom window, making mundane notes about their habits as they bustle about the cul-de-sac. When a toddler staying next door goes missing, it becomes apparent that Matthew was the last person to see him alive. Suddenly, Matthew finds himself at the center of a high-stakes mystery, and every one of his neighbors is a suspect. Matthew is the key to figuring out what happened and potentially saving a child's life...but is he able to do so if it means exposing his own secrets and stepping out from the safety of his home?

©2017 Lisa Thompson (P)2017 Scholastic Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This story is an emotional roller-coaster ride, and narrator Leon Williams treats each twist and turn with depth and passion, holding listeners in rapt attention to the end. He provides a spectacular portrayal of 12-year-old Matthew... Williams takes listeners from one emotion to the next, anxious, horrified, hopeful, heartbroken, and relieved, all in one performance." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about The Goldfish Boy

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A Great Book for Children Who Struggle

My daughter struggles with ASD and while not the same as Matthew, the similarity was enough she really felt connection with this story.
I strongly suggest this book for parents to consider if looking for books for young children.

PS: I also enjoyed it.

4 people found this helpful

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An emotional read about personal battles.

I didn't really know how to rate this story as the books description makes it sound more like a mystery, but although there is a mystery tied into this story I feel it is more of a subplot than the main plot. The main plot of the story is about a 12 year old boy named Matthew who struggles with OCD in the way he sees germs everywhere so he is constantly cleaning, washing his hands, and doesn't go outside much nor leaves his room. Most of the book is about him struggling to live his life, but also trying to understand what caused him to develop his OCD habits. He feels alone and isolated and unable to talk to anyone about what he is going through.

Then we have the subplot where a child in the neighborhood goes missing and Matthew, as he notices a lot of neighborhood comings and goings from his window, gathers his courage to try to help find the child even if it means stepping out of his comfort zone to do so. In doing so Matthew makes some new friends, learns to understand the neighborhood bully a little more and understands why he acts the way he acts, and he ends up finding more confidence in himself to start taking more control over his own life.

I really enjoyed the book and found it to be an emotional read. As an adult reading this I felt compassion, empathy, and understanding towards Matthew as I also deal with OCD tendencies from being ever aware of germs, to constantly washing my hands or using sanitizer multiple times to the point my hands get dried out, and even counting or separating food on my plate into specific groupings before I eat them. Although what I deal with is not to the point that Matthew was at in the book, I definitely find it embarrassing and always keep it quiet like Matthew feels he has to do. Society can be cruel and not so understanding about people who might be a little different. In this book Matthew really starts coming out of his shell and starts to understand what and why he is how he is. The mystery part of this book was well done as well and I really didn't see it coming. I totally had someone else in mind on who done it. I just wished there was a little more to the mystery part. Lisa Thompson has done a fantastic job creating a book that will reach a lot of kids who also deal with OCD in some way. It's great seeing books like this come out giving kids representation of their struggles they may be facing every day and unable to tell adults about it because they might be afraid to do so or simply because as adults we might not always take the time to truly listen and understand them. As for Leon Williams narrating, he does a fantastic job bringing Matthew and his emotions to life.