The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Author: Mark Haddon

Publisher: New York: Doubleday 2003
ISBN- 978-0385509459
pages: 226
Author's website

Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary life
Topics: mystery, autism, divorce
Media Type: Book

Grade level: 9+

Reader's annotation:
Even though the gifted but autistic Christopher is afraid to interact with others, he is motivated to push himself out of his comfort level to find out who murdered the next door neighbors dog. When he discovers information about his mother his world really takes a turn.

Christopher lives with his dad and goes to a special school for autistic children where he gets special math lessons because he is beyond all the other students. There are lots of quirky things we learn about his life such as how the color of the cars he sees from the bus will affect what kind of day her will have. Then there is the murder of the neighbors dog and Chris just has to find out what happened. It takes a lot of effort on his part to convince himself he should actually approach another person and ask some questions. Then he discovers some things about his supposedly dead mother and he needs his courage even more now.

Excellent story and insight into the world of an autistic person. Told in first person by someone with autism you understand why someone might act the way they do. The self-discovery aspect of the story is appropriate for teens and and the learning aspect is valuable for tolerance and understanding.

Whitbread Award

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I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in western MA and lived in NYC dancing for several years before getting my teaching credentials and unintentionally moving to Santa Cruz CA. Married and divorced with two kids almost grown, a daughter in college and a son in high school, I am thrilled to be a librarian now, something that I should have done years ago. I love the applications of technology and realize that I have been interested in that since my first computer class back in 1986 - a new requirement for teaching degrees. Finally I can combine my love of curriculum, educational resources, working with adults and children, and technology applications.