“My memory is like a film….And when people ask me to remember something I can simply press Rewind and Fast Forward and Pause like on a video recorder….If someone says to me, ‘Christopher, tell me what your mother was like,’ I can rewind to lots of different scenes and say what she was like in those scenes.”
I was simply enchanted by this book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. One of my dear friends gave to to last year to take on a trip to Florida. She had mentioned it was kind of a mystery and the main character was a teenage boy living with Asperger’s Syndrome. But this book was just so much more! I finally picked it up yesterday morning… and then read it start to finsh.
My girlfriend has 2 sons who are living with Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s is a high functioning form of autism. Within the homeschooling community I have met many families who have a child with Asperger’s. These children have almost always faced severe bullying n school and tend not to thrive in a school setting. I know there are many sides to the issue- however from my experience I can only see it as cruel to try and force a child or adolescent into a school or institutionalized setting, its very nature sets up the child for failure and misery, buts that;s another post.
The book open with Christopher, 15 , discovery he neighbor’s dog, Wellington, dead- killed with a pitchfork. The story is written entirely from Christopher’s point of view as he tries to solve the puzzle of who and why it happened. Christopher is somewhat of a math wizard and loves logic and puzzles. The book is liberally sprinkled with interesting math problems and puzzles that I found delightful- some that have really given me cause to think. ( especially the “Monty Hall Problem”
The book was refreshing and touching. It gave us a glimpse of how another type of person’s mind works- and his own sense of logic. I found it beautiful.
There is some strong language and mature content if that is a concern. The book would be a good read from about ages 12+ depending on the child. You may also want to read aloud and discuss.
This book would be a great springboard for talking about all kind of the things- difference in people. acceptance, tolerance and expression.
This has been one of my favourite books of the year- I HIGHLY recommend.
Related The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Links:
Suggested Discussion Questions for the Book: http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides3/curious_incident_dog1.asp
Author Mark Haddon;s Offical Website (EXCELLENT!) http://www.markhaddon.com/