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Haddon, Mark

chris dog fifteen child

Haddon, Mark

(British, 1962– )

Haddon has written fifteen children's books and won two BAFTAs, but he is best known for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Whitbread winner, 2003), originally marketed as a book for teens, and swiftly taken up by adults. Fifteen-year-old Chris has Asperger's Syndrome: he excels at Maths and science, refuses to speak all day if he sees four yellow cars in a row, and responds to difficult situations by groaning and banging his head against the wall. Chris is looking for the killer of his neighbour's dog; and so unfolds the story of the collapse of his parents’ marriage, revealing to the reader the emotional cost of having a child like Chris. His matter-of-fact voice generates absurd humour, and never succumbs to being a plea for sympathy. Rather, it opens the way for us to see into his world, where things we consider trivial loom large—and vice versa—and forces us to see our world differently. A marvellously entertaining and original book, which has won over many teens (and adults) who don't much like reading.

Alan Sillitoe (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner), Russell Hoban (Riddley Walker), Doris Lessing (The Fifth Child)  JR

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