Hello and welcome to my very first post on my brand new blog! I'm really excited to start this new project and I have a lot of plans for it in the future. If you haven't guessed already this is a book blog - a place where I can rant, rave and celebrate about books! I've decided for my first seven posts to go with a bit of a theme.
This is the Rainbow List of Must-Reads: a list of a few of my favourite books in rainbow order. Starting off the list we have our red book with a red cover:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
Kicking off my Rainbow list of Must-Reads we have ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’, Mark Haddon’s eloquent yet quirky insight into the mind of Christopher – a peculiar 15 year old boy with a love for the colour red. ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ is as clever and thought-provoking as they come and offers up a reading experience like no other. The book is narrated by Christopher himself as he attempts to uncover the truth behind the tragic death of his neighbour, Mrs Shears’, dog, unravelling a much larger story in the process.
It becomes quickly apparent when reading this book that Christopher is not your usual teenage boy; he has a complicated relationship with emotions and is unable to identify facial expressions other than happy and sad; he calms himself in difficult situations by effortlessly carrying out colossal maths equations in his head; and he absolutely refuses to eat anything yellow or brown under any circumstances. After combining these strange behavioural quirks with Christopher’s peculiar way of recounting events, it quickly becomes clear to the reader that Christopher has some form of autism-like disability.
I first learned about the book from my sister when I was six years old – though did not actually read it until I was ten. When I asked my eldest sister what her book was about she gave me a funny smile and said:
“It’s about a boy with autism, I think,”
My sister thought for a while before answering: “It’s like… If I told you to stay off the grass, you’d just do it. But if I told a boy with autism to stay off the grass, you’d have to tell him when and why and for how long,”
This was a perfectly acceptable answer to my young mind and the explanation has stuck with me for all these years since. Even before I had absorbed the story first-hand, the book had left a lasting impression on me, leaving me with a better understanding of autism and those affected by it.
Though Mark Haddon never specified Christopher’s condition, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ was able to explain mental disabilities to my sister in a way that was so simple that she could then go on to teach a six year old child. The reason I loved ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ is because I have never before found a book that has allowed me to look so clearly through the eyes of someone with such a difficult mental-disability. It has let me see into a world where things aren’t so clear and simple and shown the mentally disabled in a much more relatable light.
It’s the kind of book I want everyone to read, and one I take great pleasure in lending out. When I first picked the book off the shelf I ate it up within a few days and begged my Sister to let me borrow her copy as well.
For all these reasons, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ will always have a warm spot in both my library and my heart.
You can find out more about Mark Haddon and his other books by going to this website.