The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon was a very interesting and thought provoking read. I purchased this book for my Kindle over the summer because my local school district assigned it to all of their students for summer reading and hosted book discussions for the community and encouraged the city to join in reading this book. I finally got around to reading it while traveling this past week and I’m so glad that I did.
The book is told from the perspective of a teen male who is mathematically inclined and describes himself as having behaviors problems. In the book he investigates the death of a neighbor’s dog. What you get however is not just a mystery but insight into the life of a teen who displays autistic-like tendencies. I do work with students on the autism spectrum so for me I was able to relate to the struggles the narrator describes. In fact Haddon’s descriptions provided an easily accessible and plausible explanations of why a person with autism might have certain personality quirks. (Haddon does not claim to be an expert and there may be no way to fully know what goes on in someone else’s head but it rings true to me.) By the time I was nearing the end of the book I couldn’t put it down and was very invested in the life of the main character.
I would recommend this book for any adult who works with autistic children. I would also use this as a classroom read or recommend it for an individual student to read. I feel it could spark great discussion about family relationships, disabilities and abilities, along with questions of morality.
WINNER YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
WINNER 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year
WINNER Booklist Editor’s Choice for Young Adults
WINNER School Library Journal Adult Books for Young Adults
WINNER ALA Best Books for Young Adults
WINNER New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
WINNER New Jersey Garden State Teen Book Award
WINNER 2004 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize of Europe and South Asia