The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

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The Goldfish Boy is a mystery story about a toddler who vanishes from a neighbour's garden. Our detective, Matthew, is a boy who is trapped inside by his OCD.

This is a beautifully written book. The prose is so well constructed you don't notice it as you devour page after page of this compelling story. It is about relationships and the human need to communicate. It's about the ways we deal, or don't deal, with life and loss, death and struggles. It's about family and friendship. There is so much more going on in this book than the plot and it is all handled delicately, never over-powering the story. The plot is gripping and the way our unusual detective goes about trying to solve the mystery fascinating.

I've seen comparisons between this book and Mark Hadden's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and I can see why, although they are very different. This is a brilliant debut. I have The Light Jar, Lisa Thompson's second book, on my bedside table, which I can't wait to read. I suspect that book will be a tear-jerker because The Goldfish Boy is about tough things and my eyes weren't dry when I came to the end of the story. If you are a fan of quality middle grade fiction, then you should read this book.