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Archive > May 2009 Book: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightTime by Mark Hadden

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I am excited. This is a great book. Here is the reading guide.

How do you think this novel bridges the gap between literature for adults and children?


What do you think Haddon's illustrations add to the story and to our understanding of Christopher's character?


Although seemingly ill equipped as the narrator of a book, Christopher's character succeeds in eliciting a wide range of emotions in the reader. How do you think Haddon uses his protagonists voice to touch his audience in such a way?


Discuss the relationship between father and son in the novel. How well do you think Christopher's father copes with his son's condition?


The author has used his extensive knowledge of Asperger's syndrome to allow us to see the world through Christopher's eyes, how do you think the story further enhances our attachment to the character and our enjoyment of the book in general?


How far do you think the author has used Christopher's alienating condition to expose intricate truths about our modern lives? Do you think this was his intention in Christopher's exposure of his parent's secret?



HAppy REading all!!!!


message 2: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wldinnis) I can't wait to read this book. I just picked it up at the library.


Christina Stind Another book that I've already read ... it was a good read though.


message 4: by Wendy T (new)

Wendy T I read this book already and totally loved it.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I read this book and absolutely loved it! I don't want to post any spoilers but will later.


message 6: by Fiona (Titch) (new)

Fiona (Titch) Hunt (titch) I am listening to it via Audio.


message 7: by Fiona (Titch) (new)

Fiona (Titch) Hunt (titch) Just finished this and didn't think much of it.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

What didn't you like Fiona?


message 9: by Fiona (Titch) (new)

Fiona (Titch) Hunt (titch) Just the way it was done, I think I might re-try later this month. I felt I had to read and get it read, but I still have the book, so if I can get through what I have to read this month and still have time, I will re-try and take it in a different thoughts.


message 10: by Kim (new)

Kim I've had this book on my tbr pile for a while. My mil recommended it because we have an autistic daughter.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I think that Christopher was a fantastic character. It was brilliant that he was a math genius and that the chapters are in prime numbers.




message 12: by Kipahni (new)

Kipahni | 45 comments "Although seemingly ill equipped as the narrator of a book, Christopher's character succeeds in eliciting a wide range of emotions in the reader. How do you think Haddon uses his protagonists voice to touch his audience in such a way? "

I honestly DIDN'T feel attached to the charaters and that is why I liked the book because it put me in the shoes of a person with Aspergers

On a side note I don't think this is a book that would be enjoyable to listen on tape, because then how would you see the illistrations that further developed the character? Unless it came with a pdf or something similiar


message 13: by Shelley (new)

Shelley (shelleylynn) I have read this book and I quite enjoyed it. I felt connected to Christopher and was amazed at the ability the author had to put himself into the shoes of some one with Aspergers. I used to be a Behavioural Aide for a young boy with Aspergers and was in awe- I could never have written with the eyes of someone with aspergers.


message 14: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 8 comments I read this book a few months ago and really enjoyed it. I'm not sure it connects adult and children's literature, but it was definitely a great read. Christopher's character was written where the reader could easily view the world from his point of view, and Haddon did a good job at getting the reader to understand his Aspergers.


message 15: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (sianin) I read this book a couple of years ago and it changes my life - I now implement the Monty Hall problem whenever I have that choice! LOL

I really liked the story from Christopher's point of view. It gave me some understanding to some of the behaviours that you see and allowed me to see the logic in those behaviours. For that alone, I appreciatd the book.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I think Haddon did a brillant job creating a character with Aspergers. I worked with Austic children years ago so this hit home and he did a wonderful job.





message 17: by Kristie (new)

Kristie (spedkristie) I love this book but I read it about 6 years ago. I wish that I remember more....it's one of my must reads!!!!


message 18: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (marianslibrary) | 51 comments Read it several years for bookclub. It's very good. You'll all enjoy it!


message 19: by Samantha (new)

Samantha (jbugne) | 3 comments I read this book in High School. I didn't think i would like it but as i read it i ended up loving it.


message 20: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wldinnis) One of the things I noticed in the book is that other people around Christopher simply assumed he was acting strange, not that there was an underlying reason for it. I think that his father dealt with his disorder well, although I did feel he manipulated Christopher at times, especially about his mother. I was so angry (on Christopher's behalf) when he found the letters and realized his mother was still alive and his dad had been lying to him all along.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Wendy: I too got mad about that.

I was also worried about Christopher traveling to find his mother.


message 22: by Lisa :-) (new)

Lisa :-) I loved this and heartily recommended it to a friend who works with children with special educational needs.


message 23: by Jennie (new)

Jennie (tenapenny) | 2 comments Just finished it and enjoyed it. it really allowed me to see life from Christopher's point of view and i found this very interesting. it was quite sad and frustrating how people misinterpreted him and tried to control him (his dad in particular). all in all a refreshing and thought provoking book.


message 24: by Rhonda (last edited May 28, 2009 01:24PM) (new)

Rhonda (rhondak) I was less angry at Christopher's father than I was his mother, with whom I was furious for walking out. I suppose that it's pretty modern to want to find oneself and walk out of a marriage like that, but I have seen the damage first hand and I don't think C's father deserved it nor did Christopher. I found her rationalizations highly self-indulgent and disgusting.
In addition, dealing with an autistic child and working his business must have resulted in some immense loneliness issues, ones which I understand. Hence while I don't agree with his reaction, I can also understand his panic to come up with SOME sort of story. Killing the dog, of course, just shows you how out of character his father is due to his grief and need for human touch. Naturally anything he does is not excused by all of this, but he is the one who stuck it out and tried to deal with things. As some have indicated, dealing with an autistic child can be maddening at times and we were the ones who were allowed to send them home and have normal lives ourselves! Living with an autistic child every day must be nerve-wracking in the extreme.


message 25: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (sianin) Thanks for posting that Rhonda, I read the book too long ago to remember what my feelings were regarding Christopher's parents, but with your post I remembered that my sentiments followed your quite closely.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Rhonda thank you for your post. I too felt bad for his father. I remember being completely shocked about the lie and felt bad because you could tell Christopher did not quite understand the situation. I remember be so frightened for Christopher when he went looking for his mother. Fearfull he would get lost or hurt.




message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

An interesting tidbit, This is a banned book because it can "pollute" teenage minds.


message 28: by Beth (new)

Beth Knight (zazaknittycat) OMG! How? I ban book banners!


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

I ban book banners too!

It didn't give more details then pollute teenage minds. REally just stupid. I don't understand how it would pollute a teenager. My daughter and I read it at the same time. I don't get it.


message 30: by Kipahni (new)

Kipahni | 45 comments perhaps because christopher acts contrary to societal norms and that the book banners think teens might get ideas?
sheesh sometimes book banners are either way out of touch with how kids are today, or they really believe people will be swayed in their thinking and actions after reading just one book.


message 31: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda (rhondak) You state that it is a banned book, but you didn't state by whom it was banned. Is it banned by a local or national organization or perhaps by one school district?
Just as it's important to understand why we may think something, we ought to venture to understand the opposing point of view, including their background. It is certainly not the moral high ground to be pejorative when we disagree.


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

It was banned in Galveston Texas County Reads Day in 2006. That is all the information that I have other then it will pollute young minds.


message 33: by Rhonda (last edited Jun 01, 2009 08:33AM) (new)

Rhonda (rhondak) I am confused: when I looked up Galveston County Reads Day for 2006, it shows that they actually used this as their book for everyone to read. On the website below, there are several different addresses where they held discussions of this book.
http://galvestondailynews.com/story.l...
Perhaps I am reading this incorrectly, but this sounds like a wonderful group of people who certainly appear to enjoy reading. In fact I was going to suggest a program like this to our local library!
What is your source, Emilee, for them having banned this book?


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

It is called banned books by Robert P. Doyle ISBN number0838984258 page 73 it is book number 646. Many of the books listed does match many of the online listings like the website cited in the banned books section under the discussion threads here.


message 35: by JESSICA (new)

JESSICA (iamasuburbanmom) | 52 comments I'm the mom of a special needs child and I really enjoyed this book. I think I was particularly excited about the idea of a special needs child being the "hero" of his own story that he tells in his own words. I also thought Haddon did a wonderful job of writing about Asperbergs from an inside view, giving the average reader the ability to see what seems like "irrational and eratic" behaviors are really triggered by something.
I also liked seeing Christopher's father cope with his relationship to his son. I liked that he made devastating mistakes in not telling his son the truth about his mother. I think its easy to see special needs parents as either heros or villians depending on "how devoted" they are to their children. I could identify with christhoper's father because he made mistakes but persevered in his relationship with his son, and in the end gave Christopher the space to define that relationship on christopher's terms.
This was a really great choice!




message 36: by Lori (new)

Lori (tnbbc) This was a great book overall. I tend to like books that revolve around odd lead characters. Have any of you tryed The Dead Fathers Club or The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao?? Similar lead characters, in that they are young boys, trying to find a way to reach out and stay connected in a world that they find difficult to understand, and that finds them the same way!


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

I have Oscar Wao and plan on reading it. I've heard great things about that book. Lori you are welcome to start a discussion thread about in the fiction section as I am sure many will flock to the thread.


message 38: by Mary (last edited Jun 27, 2009 08:35AM) (new)

Mary  (maryjs) | 5 comments I agree with Jessica. I loved the way that Haddon wrote about Aspbergers from the inside. I will be recommending this book to my students who are studying child psyc. It really gets at what is going on inside - a view we rarely get to see (much less have as the main character)


message 39: by Lisa (new)

Lisa I did actually listen to this on CD and thought it was brilliantly read. Although I didn't know I was missing pictures. I enjoyed that the story started with Christopher finding the dead dog and you expected that to be what the story was about but it led into something completely unexpected. My only complaint was that I thought the part where Christopher was on his way to London was somewhat drawn out. If the point of all that was to show that Christopher could manage to deal with his disorder, he didn't really. He kind of got where he needed to be by a combination of blind luck and his own skills. I thought Haddon did an excellent job of teaching the reader about another kind of person without ever sounding like he was teaching or showing off all of the research he had done.


message 40: by Franny (new)

Franny Burd LOVED LOVED LOVED this book and should really read it again. I read it about 4 years ago, which was about a year before my son was dignosed with high-functioning autism/Aspergers. I'm sure I'd have a MUCH different take on it the second time around! :)


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

This is a wonderful book!


message 42: by Nadia (new)

Nadia A (bagambo) Such a great book!


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) Not a particular favourite of mine. :/


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