A boy's spectacular and mystifying into-thin-air disappearance
from a sealed chamber high above London launches this determined and thoughtful
page-turner for middle-grade readers.
Deliberate and logical twelve year old Ted, a boy with Asperger's Syndrome, narrates this fast-paced mystery. Ted loves order (he wears his school uniform even on weekends) and is a vigilant recorder of events, big and small: He notes the number of cereal bits he eats at breakfast, counts the minutes his cousin spends aloft in the viewing capsule, and deciphers facial expressions by matching them to rote arrangements of eyebrows and lips he's memorized. Ted's mind is a place where each click of the clock is palpable and nature is a beautiful machine.
It's people that perplex Ted: Their emotions are inexplicable and their habit of talking in metaphors causes grotesque and nonsensical...
*The tonnes referred to in the sidebar are metric tons, equivalent to 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs), which is different to the ton in the USA which usually refers to a "short ton" of 2000 lbs (about 907 kg). The difference is because the UK uses the metric system, whereas the USA stands with Liberia and Burma/Myanmar as the only countries not to have officially moved to the metric system.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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