Kelly (and the Book Boar)'s Reviews > The Goldfish Boy

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa   Thompson
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Find all of my reviews at: https://www.goodreads.com/

WARNING: After take one last peek at what I had written before posting, I realize you have to read about 117 pages before I actually get to anything about the book. #sorry.

I’m going to begin by saying that (in MY opinion) middle-grade has to be the hardest (fictional) genre to write. There’s just soooooo much that can be going on in this age range. Maybe they’ve already hit puberty, maybe they haven’t – maybe they have parents who let them watch R-rated movies, maybe they are still only allowed to watch Pixar flicks because they haven’t reached that magical number “13” (or ten-plus-three as young Matthew in our story here would say). I mean, there’s just no middle-ground when it comes to this in-between age. Even we parents are often lost thinking stuff like: “Am I really going to let this kid play GTA??? Isn’t that the one where he can earn money by being a pixelated drug dealer or pimp????” Only to find out that yes, that is the right game, but he and his buddies spend all their allowance buying these cards that give them fake money so they don’t have to do anything nefarious in order to drive DeLoreans. #ihavenoideawhatimdoingasaparent

This no idea what I’m doing state of child rearing is what led me to dabbling in more middle-grade books. It’s also what made me realize how hard it must be to write something that isn’t too babyish or too adult or too benign or too offensive. Mad props to the authors who can pull it off. Authors like Lisa Thompson here.

I’ll admit I was an insta-sell on wanting to read this as soon as I saw the comparison to . . . .



Rear Window is hands down my favorite movie of all time. Like I love it so much I am pretty sure I was able to channel all of my brain power and make it be on television one time when we just had switched over to satellite and I lost my DVR of it and I needed to get it re-recorded stat for my insomniac viewing pleasure. I used to fantasize about living in a place like L.B. Jefferies’ apartment . . . .




That didn’t end up happening, but I do have a sick fascination of driving around as the passenger in the dark during the holiday season and crossing my fingers for open doors and curtains so I can peep into people’s houses and see their Christmas decorations. #notsorry #arentyougladyoudontlivenearme

All that being said, a comparison to Rear Window is a major double-edged sword because if I hate it, I will hate it exponentially. Luckily for Ms. Thompson she had nothing to worry about.

The story here is of a young boy named Matthew who stopped going to school or outside or almost anywhere other than his room and the “office” of his family’s home. Matthew is no longer able to be around things he can’t guarantee are germ free – including things like Nigel the cat. Well, okay, Nigel the cat was probably always disgusting and hard to be around, but even that relationship has become more strained. Now - when he’s not cleaning, that is – Matthew passes the time watching the neighborhood from his two upstairs vantage points. It’s from there that he takes note of something very important . . . .

“12:55 p.m. That time was important. I don’t know why it stuck in my mind but it did, even without writing it down. At some point after 12:55 p.m. on that bright, scorching day, Teddy Dawson went missing.”

It’s now up to Matthew (and an unlikely assistant or two) to decipher all of Matthew’s observations in order to help the police solve the case of the missing toddler.

As I said before, Lisa Thompson really hit this one out of the park. Matthew’s OCD was soooooo believable and I never felt like I was being hit over the head about him being a little “different” for lack of a better term (I’m looking at YOU here Ginny Moon). His sleuthing was also realistic. Although he was playing a bit of amateur detective he wasn’t allowed to get in the way of the police, for obvious reasons, but he also had a compulsion to not let something happen to this little boy on his watch (and his reasoning makes sense, is hinted at/eventually explained throughout the book). Goldfish Boy is a book for kids and parents both to enjoy. It gets all the stars.
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Reading Progress

December 12, 2017 – Started Reading
December 12, 2017 – Shelved
December 14, 2017 – Shelved as: everything-old-is-new-again
December 14, 2017 – Shelved as: liburrrrrry-book
December 14, 2017 – Shelved as: read-in-2017
December 14, 2017 – Shelved as: really-for-kidlets
December 14, 2017 – Shelved as: whodunit
December 14, 2017 – Shelved as: ya-for-grown-ups
December 14, 2017 – Shelved as: you-had-me-at-hello
December 14, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by Erica (new)

Erica You: #ihavenoideawhatimdoingasaparent

Me: NO ONE has any idea what they're doing as a parent and if they say otherwise, then they don't have kids.
Case in point: I am a phenomenal parent and I know all the right things to do and say and I never worry about my kid being a bully or being ... anything because I don't have kids. Parenting is super easy when you don't have kids.

So this book keeps jumping in my face.
The audiobook came across my desk, as did the Playaway. We featured it this past summer in a few of our programs. Now your review is on my feed.
I feel like the book gods are trying to tell me something...

You: ... but I do have a sick fascination of driving around as the passenger in the dark during the holiday season and crossing my fingers for open doors and curtains so I can peep into people’s houses and see their Christmas decorations. #not sorry #arentyougladyoudontlivenearme

Me: OMG! This is a favorite activity of both Noelle's (you know, my sister) and mine! Summer is best because people keep their windows and doors open late into the evening and you can see right into their lives! But the holidays offer decorations, though the scene is usually framed specifically to please people looking in.
That was the one sad drawback when I bought our house. It doesn't have a front window to the street. I can't let people see inside my living room. They can see into the bedroom (ha! No they can't! Those blinds are drawn!) and the top 1/3rd of my room as well as into the guest room and the basement but they're all small windows so you just don't get the feel of the house. Plus, only my room looks nice. Looking into the guest room and the basement is boring. :(
Noelle has the same problem. She can open the front door so you can see down the hall but the only other window that faces the street is in the den and no one uses that room, so...
We're failing our neighborhoods and, yes, I am glad you don't live near us because you would be disappointed.


Kelly (and the Book Boar) Erica wrote: "OMG! This is a favorite activity of both Noelle's (you know, my sister) and mine! ..."

I'm pretty sure at this point I am your long lost sister that your mom left at the hospital.

And I am glad I'm not your neighbor too - it would get awkward at some point for me to actually be all up in your yard so I could peep you effectively.

Now I think maybe I should move because across the street all the houses are split foyers so even if their door is open all you see is NOTHING. How have I endured this suffering so long??? And why don't they send me fruit baskets or at least a thank-you note each month for me having a house layout that is full on display for them??? Unappreciative assholes!

Oh and I am partial to winter Peeping Tom-ery because it gets dark earlier for my viewing pleasure. Also because this time of year tons of houses are having holiday get-togethers so they have like EVERY light on in the house and ALL the doors/curtains open so I can get my fill and still be in bed by 8:30.


message 3: by Vicky (new)

Vicky Can I hijack your review to ask what other books you might highly recommend for MG? I am adding this to the Christmas List but looking for other suggestions as well....Thank you!!


Kelly (and the Book Boar) Vicky wrote: "Can I hijack your review to ask what other books you might highly recommend for MG?"

ABSOLUTELY!

I really don't read a lot of it, but Erica (commenter above) is a librarian and can probably give you some good ones. Wonder is my go-to because it is total perfection. I really enjoyed Raymie Nightingale and Out of My Mind and I love anything by Gary D. Schmidt or Jerry Spinelli.


message 5: by Vicky (new)

Vicky Kelly (and the Book Boar) wrote: "Vicky wrote: "Can I hijack your review to ask what other books you might highly recommend for MG?"

ABSOLUTELY!

I really don't read a lot of it, but Erica (commenter above) is a librarian and can ..."


Thank you! My daughter is a somewhat reluctant reader but I keep hoping we will find that one book that turns it all around. She did love Wonder - it was their 4th grade read along and it's their current one book, one school choice. We are re-reading it as a family so my 7yo can enjoy it as well. I will check out the other books and really appreciate it!!


Kelly (and the Book Boar) I have a reluctant reader (that's such a nice way of saying it) too. That's how I started reading more of these "in-between" types of stories. I can weed out the stuff I know he'll hate (romance/dystopia/etc.) and weed out the stuff I'm not ready for him to read about (rape/drug and alcohol abuse/etc.).

Oh and I re-read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret this year for my library's reading challenge and was still absolutely smitten by it all these years later. Maybe that's another winner???


message 7: by Vicky (new)

Vicky Kelly (and the Book Boar) wrote: "I have a reluctant reader (that's such a nice way of saying it) too. That's how I started reading more of these "in-between" types of stories. I can weed out the stuff I know he'll hate (romance/dy..."

That might be a perfect book! Thank you again for your suggestions =)


sha. {"go book yourself"} you have no idea how glad I am rn. Haven't got stellar track of rec recently (2 of my friends ended up hating There's Someone Inside Your House', like, wuuuut :/) so you loving TGB -5 stars no less!- is a relief, heh ^_^


Kelly (and the Book Boar) They read that one wrong ; ) It was so much fun!


Monty Cupcake ☠ Queen of Bloodshed ☠ Creepy people like you are why I have my curtains tightly drawn 24/7...just joking! I do it because I'm a vampire. Great review and you should read more thrillers!


Kelly (and the Book Boar) I feel like all I read is thrillers and porn lol ; )


Monty Cupcake ☠ Queen of Bloodshed ☠ YES! That's all you need in life, really. The porny librarian would be proud.


Shanna I have OCD and love this book. I don’t have the same kind as Matty did, but I used to. Mine has changed over time. I think it is a beautiful portrayal. I was worried it would not live up to my expectations, but it did!


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