Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years. Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions. This remarkable novel has received many accolades, including the Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award, which SNP is honored to co-sponsor with the Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities of the Council on Exceptional Children.
Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. At fifteen, Christopher's carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor's dog Wellington impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.
Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer, and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents' marriage. As Christopher tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, the narrative draws readers into the workings of Christopher's mind. The Curious Incident of the Dog is a winner of Britain's celebrated Whitbread Prize. It is also a 2004 winner of the Dolly Gray Award for outstanding literature recognizing young people with a disability given biennially by the Developmental Disabilities Division of the Council on Exceptional Children.
"Mark Haddon's portrayal of an emotionally dissociated mind is a superb achievement. He is a wise and bleakly funny writer with rare gifts of empathy."--Ian McEwan, author of Atonement.
Mark Haddon is a writer and illustrator of numerous award-winning children's books and television adaptations. As a young man, Haddon worked with autistic individuals. He currently teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and at Oxford University.
240 pages. 2004
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