Ted and his sister Kat live in London. Ted’s favorite thing to do there is fly the Eye. The London Eye is an observation wheel — it looks like a giant Ferris wheel, but passengers ride inside sealed capsules made of glass and steel.
When Ted and Kat’s cousin Salim comes to visit, they take him to the London Eye. They’re waiting in an endless line to buy tickets when a guy comes up and offers them one for free. They accept it and Salim gets to jump to the head of the line. Ted and Kat watch their cousin enter a pod with a couple dozen other people. They watch as his pod rises to the top and slowly descends again. When the doors of the capsule open, everyone pours out.
But Salim isn’t with them.
Somehow, in the half an hour since their cousin entered the pod, he has disappeared off the face of the earth without a trace. What happened to him? That’s what Salim’s parents, the police, and Ted and Kat all want to know.
Genre: mystery, realistic fiction
Anna’s take on it:
I love booktalking this title. It’s fun to build up the details of the scene at the London Eye. The long line. The free ticket. The cousin’s wave. Then I pause after I say, “When the doors of the capsule open, everyone pours out. But…” In the silence, at least a few people in the class will murmur, “The cousin isn’t there.”
After my presentation, kids will come up and ask, “But what happened to the cousin??!!!” I don’t tell them.