In honor of the very last day of #NationalAutismMonth (April), I would like to highlight this wonderful novel by Mark Haddon. I originally read this incredibly intelligent and creative masterpiece over nine years ago as a member of a newly formed book club in Houston, TX. At the time a young school teacher suggested this read for our next discussion. Without hesitation and knowing little about the premise, we all went out to our local bookstore and bought a copy. My how I was very pleased to meet the main character of this book, Christopher John Francis Boone!
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a story about a young boy who witnesses his neighbors dog being murdered. He decides to use his detective skills coupled with the social skills he has learned in school to investigate the murder and find the killer. Christopher is smart, funny, likable -oh and autistic! The story is told in the first person (Christopher actually "writes" the book) so the reader gets to experience all of Christopher's wonder. He draws us pictures of faces so we know how he feels. He draws us maps to show us the direction he was looking when the dog was murdered. He even shows us a chart of how to determine a prime number, while explaining that he has chosen to number his book chapters with only prime numbers because he likes them. This is one of the most creative books I have read to date. I usually re-read it every few years just because Christopher has made such an impression on me that I want to visit him every now and again.
Mark Haddon does a wonderful job writing a well researched character and plot. In a previous career, Haddon worked with autistic individuals. Haddon gifted the world with a delightful reminder of the special talents, contributions and enlightened effects of autistic individuals. That they are different but not less than. That we are all people. That we all love and want to be loved.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a light, fun, heartfelt read. See below for three of my favorite quotes from this collection (in no particular order). I am looking forward to hearing what you all think about this book.
What book would you recommend I read next?
xoxoxoxoxox -Happy reading my friends,
"My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7,057."
"7. This is a murder mystery novel. [My teacher] said that I should write something I would want to read myself. Mostly I read books about Math and Science. I do not like proper novels."
"I do not tell lies. Mother used to say that this was because I was a good person. But it is not because I am a good person. It is because I can't tell lies."