I have finished the 43rd book for the book challenge. It was The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon.
Christopher Boone is a teenage boy who lives in Swindon, England with his father. One night he stumbles upon his neighbor Mrs. Shearer’s dog Wellington who has been killed with a gardening fork. The dog has been stabbed in the side with the fork. Christopher is very upset because he truly liked Wellington but Mrs. Shearer thinks that Christopher killed Wellington. The police are called and they question Christopher. The police officer grabs Christopher, and because Christopher is autistic and doesn’t like to be touched, he hits the police officer and is arrested. His father comes to the police station and bails Christopher out and Christopher is let off with a warning. But Christopher is resolved to write a book and discover who killed Wellington.
Although Christopher is autistic and goes to especial school, he is very bright in mathematics and in physics. He is studying to take his A levels in maths and next year he will take his A levels in physics. He doesn’t like to be touched. He tends to scream or hit when he is touched and he is often scared so when he is scared he does math problems. He knows every prime number up to very large numbers. He doesn’t believe in God or life after death. He has been thinking a lot about death. His mother went away and his father told him that his mother had a heart attack and then she died. Christopher was sad about that because he loved his mother but he knows that she is dead and nothing will bring her back. He has a pet rat named Toby and he takes very good care of his rat. He will only eat red foods. He hates yellow and brown foods. It is a good day if he sees red cars and a bad day if he sees yellow cars. He has learned soothing techniques from one of his teachers at school named Siobhan.
His father does the best he can to take care of Christopher by himself. He has told Christopher to stop investigating Wellington’s death and stop poking his nose into other people’s business. He is at his wit’s end about what to do with Christopher. He finally takes Christopher’s book and throws it in the dustbin. Christopher goes looking for the book. He doesn’t find it in the dustbin and looks for it elsewhere in the house. He finds it in a shirt box in his father’s room. But he also finds something else in the shirt box. He finds many letters addressed to him in his mother’s handwriting. Christopher opens one of the letters and reads it. He doesn’t really understand it. It is from his mother. How can that be since his mother is dead? The next day he goes back to the shirt box and read the other letters. He realizes that his mother is alive and living in London with Mr. Shearer. His father comes in and find him reading the letters. He admits that he has been lying to Christopher for these years about his mother being dead. He also tells Christopher that he killed Wellington. Christopher is now scared of his father and decides that he will go to London to live with his mother.
Christopher packs food, his rat Toby, takes his father’s bank card, and in a very scary journey, makes his way by himself to the train station and then takes the train to London. He manages after awhile to use the Underground to go to his mother’s section of London and he finds his mother’s flat where she lives with Mr. Shearer. His mother has been writing to Christopher every week since she left. Christopher tells her that he is scared of his father and that his father told him that she was dead and that his father killed Wellington. He tells her that he wants to live with her but that he has to return to Swindon to take his A levels in maths. Mr. Shearer is not thrilled to have Christopher in their lives. Christopher stays with them for awhile and then his mother uses Mr. Shearer’s car to drive back to Swindon.
Christopher takes his A levels and Christopher’s mother finds a room to let. Christopher is still afraid of his father but eventually he moves back in with his father after his father buys him a puppy after Toby dies of old age. Christopher gets an A grade on his A levels in maths. Christopher’s life is improving and he has two parents who love him even if they can’t live together.
This was lovely book. Christopher is an engaging young man. He is brilliant but troubled, very sensitive and often misunderstood by the world around him. You really feel for Christopher especially as he makes his way to London on the scary world of trains and the Underground. You wish you could help him navigate the world and reassure him that everything will be okay.