Goldfish Boy Lisa Thompson
Goldfish Boy Lisa Thompson

Wildcat & Wonderland Book Clubs review The Goldfish Boy

Wildcat and Wonderlands March book club meeting was all about Lisa Thompson’s latest book The Goldfish Boy.

The Goldfish Boy is about a 12 year old boy who goes by the names Mathew, Matty, and Goldfish Boy. Mathew has quite a big problem he cannot leave his room because he’s scared of infection, has to wash his hands constantly, and he only has one friend called Lion who appeared in his bedroom wallpaper. As a result of his problem, Mathew is no longer going to school, and his only interaction with the outside world is what he sees through his window. When Mr Charles’s (Mathews next door neighbour) grandchildren come to visit Mathew becomes embroiled in a mystery which only he and his special skills are able to solve!

Both Wonderland and Wildcat book clubs really liked Lisa Thompson’s choice of subject matter in The Goldfish Boy and everyone agreed that it was important to have more books which included children with mental health issues so that we are able to understand and relate to them more. After reading the books, it was unanimously decided in both  Wonderland and Wildcat Book Club that they would now be more understanding and compassionate if they met someone who was battling OCD after reading the book.

Lots of the children in Wonderland remarked on Mathews bravery, and said how impressed they were at the way in which Mathew persevered, despite all his fears, until he had solved the mystery. They then went on to say that they thought his perseverance showed great determination and focus. While reading the book I felt as though the plot carried an important message, and this was something that the children of Wildcat book club picked up on.  We discussed the implications judging “a book by its cover” and how this can lead us astray from discovering the reality of a situation or the character of a person- for example Melody and Mathew’s characters first appear creepy but in the end turn out to be interesting ‘and not creepy’ at all. Both book clubs admired how Lisa Thompson developed a sense of suspense and mystery within the book even though Mathew barely leaves the cul-de-sac in which he lives!

The Goldfish Boy was well received by both Book Clubs who liked the stories ‘originality’ and it’s ‘quirky’, ‘imaginative’ tone. The only issue some children had with the narrative is that they would’ve preferred a ‘happier’ more resolved ending.

In summary, Wildcat and Wonderland Book Club would recommend The Goldfish Boy to anyone who enjoys murder mysteries or crime novels. They would also recommend it to anyone that read and enjoyed Wonder by R.J. Palaccio, as it covers similar issues of how differences make us special, and prejudices based on appearance are wrong.