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The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon [I Mean Noel]

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,467 ratings  ·  168 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 watterlogged clue. She also doesn't know that while she searches for Leon (or is it Noel?) she will have to f ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 1st 1989 by Puffin (first published 1971)
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,467 ratings  ·  168 reviews


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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
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....
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.)
Diane Baima
I remember my sixth grade teacher reading this to us. She started crying, she was laughing so hard.
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!
Juny
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nook, favorites
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
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
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
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
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
Jennifer
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember loving this book as a kid. I *did* still love it, although I had some different emotions about the characters (in particular how women are depicted - I know it's an older book, but I felt for Mrs. Carillon and wanted to tell her, 'girl you are more than just Leon (I mean Noel)'s wife!'). But it's a fast read and the mystery is cute and Augie Kunkel is a true gem of a human and there's a lot of talk about horses and sea otters.
Tamara
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Many of my childhood favorites sadly did not stand the test of time and were not appreciated by my own kids. The good news is that this book seems as fresh and quirky as ever and my 11 year old son really enjoyed it. I only wish they had kept the old crazy purple cover!
Ann
One of my life-shaping childhood favorites, as were several of her books. The first author it occurred to me could be alive, only to look her up, as I worked in a children's room at the library, to find she had died recently, too young.
Adrienne
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a weird book, but fun, but weird as an adult. I think the kids enjoyed it more than I did, but it was pretty great. The scene with the bathing suite still had me laughing. I am glad my children love to read and this is just one of the many crazy things we enjoy.
Erin
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, ya
I don't know what I was expecting but I didn't like this very much. It reminded me of the Maurice Sendak nutshell library stories, which I feel a fondness for because of Carole King and having read them in childhood. Maybe if I'd read this for the first time as a kid.
Lara Thompson
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious. I highly recommend for a fun read with many characters interweaving an unlikely complex plot.
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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
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