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Eye Contact
Cammie McGovern
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Eye Contact

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,960 Ratings  ·  418 Reviews
From the back of the book: Two children disappear into the woods behind Woodside Elementary School. Hours later one of them, nine-year old Adam, is found alive...the sole witness to his playmates murder. But Adam is autistic and can say nothing about what he saw. Only his mother, Cara, ahs the power to penetrate his silence. When another child goes missing, she has to ask ...more
Published 2007 by The Penguin Group (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Eye Contact wants to be two books. The better book follows the path of acceptance and eventual, albeit limited, understanding between Adam, a nine-year-old autistic boy, and his mother Cara. The novel starts strongly with these two, especially in illuminating Adam’s thought processes, and in describing the mother’s difficult work of encouraging Adam to develop both within and beyond her expectations. But the half of Eye Contact that wants to be an engaging thriller is the half whose genes domina ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Ainsley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 12, 2009 Ryann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was all over the place. It has potential if it had been more focused. The bits about autism were interesting, there were too many characters so that none could be fully developed. It tried to be murder mystery, informative autistic book, love story, and drama. None of it was pulled off well. It wasn't terrible, but it really wasn't very good.
Oct 15, 2009 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I've waited a while to write my review giving myself a chance to really digest what I thought of this book. I think it's because I wanted to give it a high rating and my initial reaction was not to do so. However, it's been a week and I'm still feeling like it was an "eh" kind of book.

It felt like this book wasn't exactly sure what to be. There's a portion devoted to a family dealing with Autism. There's a portion dealing with broken relationships, and then there is the murder mystery. I think
Elizabeth C
Oct 19, 2013 Elizabeth C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing, the very description of a thriller. Little clues were in the entire body of the book, and putting them together on the journey through the book was simultaneously exhilarating and chilling. The characters felt incredibly real and the revelation on the last page was genuinely sweet enough to bring tears to my eyes. I'm so glad I read this.
Mar 26, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have no clue why I wasted my time and finished this book. It was all over the place and I was almost to the point where I don't even think the author knew who the killer was going to be until the last second. The book just did not fit for me. It was like a stew was mixed together and whatever was in the fridge was added to the story.
Dec 17, 2010 C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorite
Eye Contact (Paperback)
by Cammie McGovern

What a great story! McGorvern touches our heart, inspires us and entertains us with a great psychological mystery. The author has an excellent insight into the topic and builds up the story cleverly. Cara is Adam's mother, a 9 year old child on the autism spectrum. She is a very good single mother and is devoted to his development and happiness. A tragedy happens in his school. A little girl has been found dead and Adam is the only witness; but his abil
May 25, 2008 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!
this book was on the table at the domicile for $1 for cancer awareness fundraising. it was worth a TON more. it is definitely in my top 10 favorite books. a beautiful, sad, horrifying story of an autistic boy who witnesses the murder of a schoolmate. half of the characters in the story are children/adults with special needs. the story reads from different perspectives and the murderer isnt revealed into far into the book. the story is not so much about the murderer, but about trying to figure ou ...more
Aleathia Drehmer
Aug 02, 2008 Aleathia Drehmer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with special needs children
Recommended to Aleathia by: just liked the cover
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laya Mccoy
Nov 20, 2009 Laya Mccoy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I totally love this book. It's one of my favorite recent reads. I loved how the author, Cammie McGovern, sort of went deeper into the mind of autistic children. She showed that most of the time, they do know what they see, but they can't find the words to describe it, or they don't know the words to decribe it.
I really liked the relationship between Cara and Adam. You can tell how much she loved her son and how determined she was to making sure that she could teach him, and she was so happy w
This was one of the best books I have read this year! I literally could not put it down! Well, really, I put it down twice because, much to my chagrin, I had to go to bed. Aside from that, it never left my hands! The narration of this book is what makes it so interesting; it is told from several different characters’ points of view and they all seem to have something to hide. I found it very interesting to read the narration told from Adam’s P.O.V., as a nine year old autistic child. This story ...more
Alana Bullock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary mysteries
Recommended to Mary by: Paperback Swap
The students of Woodside Elementary School often spend their recesses playing games as children will do. As the innocent youngsters spend their time waging mock battles on the playground, they are blissfully unaware that soon the real world will intrude into their sheltered world and shatter their childhood happiness forever. And the consequences of such a vicious crime will shake this tiny, close knit community to its very core.

During one particular recess, a little girl and boy - two students
Jun 19, 2011 Karol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing! Great insights on every page, but it's a bit difficult to read because it involves IEP's and teacher documentation that I am trying to escape on this, my summer break! The author messed up a bit with introducing too many characters, and if Hedder hadn't made a sticky note cheat sheet in the front cover, I'd be lost. :)
Jul 13, 2015 Shay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
When I read the back of the book I was really interested. I was still interested when I started it but as I went on it was just getting harder to enjoy. First let me begin by saying I hated that there weren't really any chapters. There are multiple points of view from different characters and at times it was hard to keep track of who was speaking because it wasn't broken up by chapters. There would be one point of view that would go on and then all of a sudden it switches to someone else and it ...more
Nishita Sinha
Mar 24, 2015 Nishita Sinha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a book I started a while ago but could never remember the name of. From the start, I thought it was an insightful read, but I just didn't see how the title related that much. But after finishing it, I think I understand.

A firsthand witness is defined as someone who was at an event or observed it, and therefore knows exactly what happened. Everyone believes their account for the most part, and they provide the strongest evidence. But in this book, the reader was shown that even if someon
Mar 08, 2009 Desiree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danielle Redz
Apr 18, 2013 Danielle Redz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery


One of the best adult books I have read in ages. Touching and suspenseful- I loved everything about it.

Character-wise this book was very strong. All the characters were extremely well developed, and we spent time getting to know every single one of them. I felt a bond between the little boy, and I thought he was so precious. Cara was the perfect protagonist. She was strong and well-intended, yet she’d had a past… something that didn’t
Aug 17, 2008 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
The plot is every mother's, teacher's and community's nightmare. 2 kids disappear off of a school playground and when they are found a little girl is dead and the other is a boy with Autism who has retreated into himself which in turn makes the characters have to look into their pasts and unearth secrets that will change all of there lives. It starts of fairly linear but then it delves into a variety of storylines including a group of middle schoolers in a social skills group for "kids without f ...more
Maria (Ri)
Jun 24, 2009 Maria (Ri) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This literary mystery feels like a cross between Jennifer McMahon's _I Promise Not to Tell_ and Mark Haddon's _Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time._ It is a compelling look at autism, both from the child's and the parent's perspective. Adam, a 9 year old austic boy finds himself witness to a murder. While the novel is about the mystery of the murder, it is more about the relationship of Adam and Cara, his mother. The story is told from several people's perspectives. While some ring tru ...more
Apr 17, 2012 Coleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(4.5 stars) I really enjoyed this one. At first I was reminded of Jodi Picoult's House Rules, which like this one, centers around a murder & an autistic child. But I actually found this more compelling. Not only did McGovern do a good job portraying the subject matter of autism & family members & friends living with it, but it also touched on several aspects of children with various special needs, both on & off the spectrum. Additionally, this was a story that kept me guessing up ...more
Jan 31, 2009 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
When a little girl is murdered, the only witness is a nearly non-verbal autistic boy. His mother, and several other characters have to try to find out what happened and why. At times the plot seemed somewhat driven by what I considered to be too many convenient disabilities. However, the best parts of the book belong to a lonely teenage boy, who is aware of the social implications of being part of a "special" group of children, and his own outsider status. He puts himself in the role of detectiv ...more
Alison Wood
When I began eye contact, I was sceptical the I would enjoy it. I like a good mystery, but because there was a main character who was autistic, I feared that I would be preached at. In this I was mistaken.

It took me about 50 pages to invest. I found that this book asked nothing of me but gave me insights into the struggles of those who live with autism or are separated from others because of their differences. The author Cammie McGovern, like the main character Cara, is the mother of an autisti
Mar 04, 2016 Misti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't always enjoy a story told from multiple character points of view; it can be very distracting. But I thought it worked here and really added to the story. This book was interesting to me and a quick read but towards the end I was getting a little weary of the many possible suspects.
Apr 20, 2014 Eva rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two children are missing from their elementary school, both special ed students. They wandered off into the woods during recess without anyone seeing them. One child has been murdered, and the remaining witness, Adam, is autistic, with limited verbal skills. The novel does a really good job of trying to put the reader inside the head of characters who are neurologically "different", and that's not just limited to Adam. I found Adam's mother interesting- from her childhood fascination with/crush ...more
Apr 16, 2014 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A murder mystery with a twist...a small town, full of folks who start life together young, and as adults find themselves discovering secrets about each other that may have devastating effects.

I think this is well written and indeed, until the very end, you are left questioning just exactly what did happen. That is the sign of a good mystery.

Because this centers around an autistic child's perspective as well as the other characters, I think it actually offers a decent view of life in a family wit
Mar 17, 2014 Surymae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Se mi chiedete cosa sia successo veramente in quel bosco, non saprei rispondervi con chiarezza, tra tutta quella gente che per motivi più o meno strampalati si ritrova in quel luogo - che, ricordiamo, dovrebbe essere deserto. Tutto ciò, unita ad una scrittura non proprio stellare, fa scendere il giudizio a tre stelline e mezzo. Le quattro che vedete qui sono più che altro sulla fiducia: il tema dell'autismo è presentato senza inutili patetismi o retoriche (l'autrice ha un figlio affetto da quest ...more
Aug 19, 2015 Audrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sensitive drama
Recommended to Audrey by: Found it for a $1
Shelves: bought-it-for-1
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2016 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cara, a single mother of a 9-year-old autistic son Adam, has painstakingly worked with her child since his birth to learn to speak in full sentences, focus on the task at hand and, most of all, to make eye contact. When Cara recieves a phone call from Adam's school informing her that he and a classmate, Amelia, have gone missing from recess she is not initially alarmed because Adam has a history of wandering away when he hears sounds that intrigue him. She believes that he will be found nearby t ...more
Jan 20, 2016 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Reminded me a bit of a mix "The Curious Incident" AND "The Girl on the Train". I loved reading it as a sister to a brother with autism AND a special education teacher!!!!

This story and its characters really hold a place in my heart. The story is about a young boy with autism that witnesses a murder. The story takes you along for a much deeper journey as to just "solving the murder". This story brought back so many memories of my own brother and students I have been so fortunate
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Cammie McGovern was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and received the Nelson Algren Award in short fiction. Her work has been published in Redbook, Seventeen, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly, and other publications.
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