Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)” as Want to Read:
The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,558 ratings  ·  182 reviews
When Mrs. Leon Carillon sets off to meet the husband she hasn't seen since he was five, she doesn't know what to expect. She certainly doesn't bargain for the storm that knocks their boat overboard, or the fact that her husband will disappear, leaving only one very waterlogged clue. She also doesn't know that while she searches for Leon (or is it Noel?) she will have to fi ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 1st 1989 by Puffin (first published 1971)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,558 ratings  ·  182 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)
The Dusty Jacket
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-mystery
"It’s a funny thing about names. Some are long, some are short; some mean something, others don’t; but everyone and everything has one, or two or three."

Caroline “Little Dumpling” Fish Carillon has quite the backstory for someone so young. She was married at five years old (business is business, after all), orphaned at twelve, and widowed (maybe…no one is quite sure) at nineteen. Throw in twins, an unfortunate incarceration, a cross-country manhunt, and a watery clue that seems practically insol
...more
Runa
Aug 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing

The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) is an amazing book that can be equally enjoyed by adults and children alike. Adults reading the book see more layers to it than the kids, but the read is just as mysterious and enjoyable (although the idea of marriage at that young an age will be a squicky one). If you have read Ellen Raskin's Westing Game, and even if you haven't, this is a book you really need to get your hands on. I've read some of her other books, but absolutely nothing comp
...more
Jeremy
Nov 11, 2008 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, and especially wordies
A favorite. This book progresses in just the right way. I was fascinated by the word-people when I first read it as a kid, and this time I could clearly see in my mind's eye how this story would read as a film! Oh how dramatic the Glub-Blub scene would be! Mrs. Carrillon kneeling on flotsam, Leon (I mean Noel) sinking into the ocean, "Noel glub C blub all. I glub, new..." And WHAM! Yardarm to the noggin.

It's such a sweet story of people who find they loved each other all along.

Additionally, the
...more
Cheryl
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Oh I wanted to like this more than I did. But the puzzles made little sense, with too many red herrings and other not-helpful hints, and the mystery made not much more sense. (view spoiler) And the HEA ending? Nah.... ...more
Kate
Jul 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Amusing, lighter fare from Raskin. The puzzle mystery in this one revolves around solving the "glub-blubs," that is, filling in chunks of a sentence that were swallowed by the ocean as a mysterious person drowned while trying to communicate a secret message to Mrs. Carillon. She is assisted in her detecting (solve the riddle, find her missing husband) by twins Tina and Tony and the gentle Augie Kunkel. Charming.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
3.5 stars. This is not as good as The Westing Game, but has much the same sort of humor, if I remember correctly.
Kathryn
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ellen Raskin was one of my favorite authors when I was in elementary school. I kind of thought her books would get less disturbing as I got older, but...no.
Jeremy
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, especially wordies
Shelves: books-of-2008
A favorite. This book progresses in just the right way. I was fascinated by the word-people when I first read it as a kid, and this time I could clearly see in my mind's eye how this story would read as a film! Oh how dramatic the Glub-Blub scene would be! Mrs. Carrillon kneeling on flotsam, Leon (I mean Noel) sinking into the ocean, "Noel glub C blub all. I glub, new..." And WHAM! Yardarm to the noggin.

It's such a sweet story of people who find they loved each other all along.

Additionally, the
...more
Robert Tomb
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I want to give it a 5 but that's because it was a personally transformative book. The transformation, honestly, had way more to do with the context of my life than it did the book. That's not to say it wasn't an awesome piece of lit to put in the hands of a fifth-grade reader in the 1970s. It was recommended to me by my 5th grade reading teacher. Prior to this, I was only interested in reading non fiction or fiction that read like an historical account. This book gave me a great big taste of, "H ...more
Steve
Oct 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: crossword puzzlers, readers of funny stories at any age
I first read this when I was in 6th grade (I'm 36 as of this writing and still read this every once in a while!). Titles are often times the first thing that grabs me when I browse for a book, and this title was no excecption!

This is the first fiction book I read that included unusual footnotes and typography, leading to admirations of David Foster Wallace, James Joyce, and other experimental writers. The fascination with words and symbols were also a plus for me. It's a fast and funny story tha
...more
twice_baked✌️
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
That ending was so saddd!! (and I hated that she (view spoiler), that was rll disappointing.)

But it was sweet. The end.
...more
Bart Everson
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a child and thought it was one of the strangest books I'd ever encountered. Years later, I struggled to remember the title. I certainly didn't know the author's name. I couldn't remember many particulars, except something about drowning, but mostly I remembered it had all these crazy footnotes. I despaired of ever figuring out what this mystery book was.

Then, a couple months ago, some details came back to me: Leon. Noel. A red mustache. A quick internet search, and there it was. Author? None
...more
Hannah
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book wasn't as good as the Westing Game. However, Ellen won the Newbery for Westing so there's that. This book was done earlier and she might have still been getting her "sea legs". (Hilarious, if you've read the book!)

Leon and Caroline are married at the age of 5 in order to ensure an alliance between their families. Leon is promptly shipped off to boarding school and they only communicate via letters until they are nineteen. They meet in Florida and go on a boat ride. The boat is immediat
...more
Kayla
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have been trying to figure out what this book was called for years- I could only remember the cover, and that I checked it out multiple times in grade school. I was looking up what other books Ellen Raskin wrote, and there it was!! It was as zany as I remembered, and it was fun to read through it again!
Mary Anne
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great fun to read! It is too much fun to be just for kids.
Chris Presta-Valachovic
An awesome, funny read. Suffers a bit from dated attitudes towards women and children (two of the main characters get married at 12?!?), but overall, it still holds up.
Jodi
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I just finished reading this to my boys. They loved it!!! We ended up
reading much more than my usual one chapter because we were all enjoying
it so much. It had been years since I read it and I had forgotten the
plot, so I was as eager as the boys to see the puzzle of Leon solved.
I will have to definitely read more Raskin with them.
Norain
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade
The writing style does not work for me but I do think the mystery is rather good, albeit having some cumbersome explanation in the middle. As a whole it will probably captivate a younger reader so for once even though I usually think adults should be able to enjoy a good middle grade book, I think young audience will appreciate this book more than I do.
Joy
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read and re-read the library's copy of this, over a couple of years, until I managed to work out all the answers on my own. (Yes, I'd checked them already, but I wanted to see how to get from point A to point B on my own.)
Caleb Anderson
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-phoebe
Fun book with a classic 70's feel. Definitely will be reading this one to my kids. Highly recommend for kids and adults!
Diane Baima
I remember my sixth grade teacher reading this to us. She started crying, she was laughing so hard.
Renaissancecat22
Mar 26, 2020 rated it liked it
The real mystery was the friends we made along the way...

The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) is a relatively charming and very compelling mystery for young readers. It's not quite at the level of The Westing Game but it's also not trying to be. There's a mystery to solve but the story is more interested in the characters doing the detective work. Personally, I picked up on (view spoiler) from the very beginning but the rest of the mystery is not someth
...more
Juny
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, nook
Holy Guacamole! I don't even know what to say except, WOW!
Ellen Raskin just has this quirky magic in all her books! I love her odd but fitting names for everyone such as Mrs. Baker (took me a bit to get that one), Mr. Banks and so on. And of course her and her struggling artists. Tina also reminded me of Turtle in Westing Game.
This book was kind of sad. It was also happy. It just sort of drew me in from page 1 and then half way through I was wondering why the heck this book wasn't wrapping u
...more
Bobbi Lewin
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
When I was about ten years old, my mother took me to the public library as she did most every week. On this occasion, I couldn't find a book I was interested in, so Mom asked the librarian to help me. She suggested "The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)". I found the book to be hysterical; I checked it out multiple times.

As an adult, I've wondered what that book was that made me laugh so hard, and knowing I have a very silly sense of humor today, I was curious if the book would stil
...more
Jeff Lewonczyk
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Ellen Raskin novel I read, back in the 4th grade - and while I've read her others several times since, for some reason I'd never gone back to revisit this one. I'm impressed that 9-year-old me enjoyed this as much as he did, because it's a weird one - full of weird details and adult concerns and references that must have flown right over my head. And yet, I can also see why I loved it - at its core is a very clear mystery (as evinced by the title) with a raft of quirky element ...more
Matthew Hodge
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was Ellen Raskin's first novel so I wasn't sure what to expect. (It's her fourth and final novel, The Westing Game, that made her famous.)

It's a quirky and surreal tale of a woman who spends her entire adult life searching for a man named Noel (or Leon) who drowned (possibly) in Florida.

The bulk of the book consisters of Mrs Carillon and her two adopted twin orphans, Tony and Tina, trying to make sense of the last words of Leon/Noel. And because his last words were half-uttered underwater,
...more
Kadi P
Despite this being a middle-grade book I found it to be profoundly sad. Yes, it deals mainly in clever clues and childish jokes but the real core of this novel is horribly heartbreaking.

Caroline Carillon is a poor girl (both literally and figuratively) who has been dealt the worst hand possible: (view spoiler)
...more
Jared
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am pretty sure I read this as a child because so much of it seemed familiar but I didn't remember any specific details. Like The Westing Game, this is a peculiar book but very creative and good to read. The basic story revolves around a woman who spends basically her entire life trying to find her husband--the one she married when she was five years old. Bizarre, but true! This would be more appealing to a younger crowd, probably around 10 years old. This is also a kind of mystery book as Mrs. ...more
Texas State Poder
Pedro j-The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon was boring! Just kidding! It was interesting. Meet Mrs.Leon Carillon she is a nice woman she also is gonna meet her husband, but they haven't seen each other since five but what she doesn't know is her husband will disappear!!! That's not all she has to search also for Leon or is it Noel ? But while she goes to state or city to find Leon or Noel she has to answer few questions.Will she find Leon or is it Noel?I recommend this book to the people who li ...more
Steve
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a kid a BUNCH of times and thought it would be fun to read it again. The puzzles are fun but I don't think the book holds up all that well for this day and age. Still, I imagine a kid that like solving puzzles might like it. Funny, I didn't remember much of it at all or the solution.

I would rate this as either a 3 or 4 for a kid and a 2 or 3 for an adult. Fun book but I bet there are more modern takes on it now (and also since society has changed greatly since this book was writt
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Anastasia Krupnik (Anastasia Krupnik, #1)
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
  • No More Dead Dogs
  • The Supernaturalist
  • Esquivel!  Space-Age Sound Artist
  • Even Higher!: A Rosh Hashanah Story
  • Mrs. Armitage and the Big Wave
  • Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee (Mr. Magee)
  • Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
  • Ginger Pye (The Pyes, #1)
  • Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt (A Narwhal and Jelly, #2)
  • The Master Puppeteer
  • Strange Fruit
  • Earmuffs for Everyone!: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs
  • Sisters: Venus & Serena Williams
  • Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix
  • When Sue Found Sue: Sue Hendrickson Discovers Her T. Rex
  • Onion John
See similar books…
455 followers
Ellen Raskin was a writer, illustrator, and designer. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up during the Great Depression. She primarily wrote for children. She received the 1979 Newbery Medal for her 1978 book, The Westing Game.

Ms. Raskin was also an accomplished graphic artist. She designed dozens of dust jackets for books, including the first edition of Madeleine L'Engle's classic A W
...more

Related Articles

Children's books featuring bold and brave girls are both becoming easier for parents to find, and also cover a large range of...
130 likes · 47 comments