In the book The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson, Matthew is a lonely boy with a germ phobia who spends his time in his room washing, cleaning and looking out the window; watching as life in his neighborhood goes by. He knows everyone’s schedules and routines.
When the old man next door has his grandkids for the summer, Matthew has something new to watch. But the kids, Casey a six or seven year old girl and Teddy a year and a half old boy, start watching and making fun of him. They make fish faces because he’s behind glass and that’s where he gets his “Goldfish Boy” nickname.
While watching one day, he sees Teddy in the front yard alone at 12:55. Matt leaves the window and then Teddy disappears. Matthew is the last one to have seen him.
Matthew used to have friends at school, but his phobia has caused most of them to drift away. His obsessions have kept him from allowing anyone to get close to him, even his parents. His parents finally make him seek medical assistance and we begin to understand what happened to him to bring on his compulsions.
Since Matt can’t make himself go outside, there are just two kids in his neighborhood that he e-mails with, Melody and Jake. They help him “investigate” the disappearance of Teddy. Against Matt’s wishes Melody comes over, and he finally opens up and talks to her about his problem.
In the end, all his time and careful observations, along with aid from Jake and Melody, help Matthew solve the mystery of Teddy’s disappearance. The support of his friends and his parents finally helps Matt to begin to break his compulsions and allows him to no longer be the Goldfish Boy.