Twelve-year-old Matthew is trapped in his bedroom by crippling OCD, spending most of his time staring out of his window as the inhabitants of Chestnut Close go about their business. Until the day he is the last person to see his next door neighbour's toddler, Teddy, before he goes missing. Matthew must turn detective and unravel the mystery of Teddy's disappearance - with the help of a brilliant cast of supporting characters. Page-turning, heartbreaking, but ultimately life-affirming, this story is perfect for fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Wonder. It is a book that will make you laugh and cry.
British 12-year-old Matthew Corbin blames himself for his baby brother's death five years ago and, as a direct result, has developed a mental condition so debilitating that he cannot leave his house. He only travels between his bedroom and the upstairs office, where he can watch all the houses and people in his cul-de-sac, and he constantly cleans every surface, including frequent visits to his bathroom to wash himself. It is from these vantage points that he becomes the last person to see a toddler who goes missing. As the police search for the kidnapped boy, Matthew begins his own investigation, with help from neighbor kids Melody and Jake. Debut author Thompson creates believable doubt in the innocence of Matthew's neighbors, building suspense in this fast-moving Rear Window type whodunit featuring short chapters and cliffhanger chapter endings. The book stumbles slightly, however, in its handling of Matthew's obsessive disorder. While his daily struggle and tentative reemergence are skillfully handled, his eventual disclosure to his therapist and parents of what caused his problem leads to a too easily resolved ending. Ages 8 12.