What is worth reading and why? The Ecole Bilingue Middle School Independent Reading blog
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeDay #1For our first Lit Circle discussion, we talked about how it’s obvious that Christopher's autistic because of the way he thinks and behaves around people. He does whatever he wants because of his autism. His dad knows that he won’t be able to restrain Christopher from thinking/saying/doing what he wants.He often mentions someone named Siobhan who we think is a friend/helper/therapist that helps him with his condition. Christopher mentioned that his mom died. When he did this, it led us to believe that he didn't really think much of it. he loved his mom, of course, but he thinks of her death as a fact rather than an impact made on his life. He seems to care more about the death of the dog than the death of his mother. Christopher doesn’t write about how people could feel about what he says because it doesn't occur to him. He just writes the information and facts about a certain thing because he's sort of in his own world. The book doesn’t emit many feelings because it doesn’t describe feelings, but at the same time, that’s what makes it sad. The author, Mark Haddon, writes as if he knows what it’s like to have this disability. We looked him up and it showed he once worked helping people with disabilities. That explains how he sort of knows what it's like and he's able to write about it.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeDay #2Today, we talked about various different things about the book. Ms. Shears’ husband had just left her so she wanted someone to talk to and take care of. That's why she would always be over at their house after Christopher's mom died. Her and Christopher's dad hab both just been separated from their partners and so it seemed like a good fit. We thought it was possible that they might have been interested in each other, but probably not because they wouldn't be able to move on that fast. Christopher is able to learn better because he doesn’t get distracted by the things in his life. He ignores what he wants to. This is why he seems so much smarter than us. He's able to take in the information easily, and then keep it in his head. Inside he feels he doesn’t need special care because he thinks he’s a normal kid. It hasn't processed in his head that he thinks differently than everyone else. He doesn’t think about what things could be he just thinks about what things are. Apparently he hates metaphors because he can’t understand metaphors because he can only think in a logical way. He explains when people say metaphors but he doesn’t actually say them himself. He can’t imagine things that don’t exist, he only thinks about reality. This is why he doesn't believe in Christianity because he thinks it’s illogical. "My name is a metaphor. It means carrying Christ and it comes form the Greek words–greek word–(which means Jesus Christ) and–greek word–and it was the name given to St. Christopher because he carried Jesus Christ across a river. This makes you wonder what he was called before he carried Christ across the river. But he wasn't called anything because this is an apocryphal story, which means that it is a lie, too."We all think he has a good strategy for finding the murderer. He’s taken what he’s learned from movies and whatnot and using it in the real world.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeDay #3On day 3 of the LIt Circle project, we discussed things like how he’s afraid of people he doesn’t know because he’s afraid they’ll hurt him. For example, Mrs. Alexander is trying to open up to Christopher and maybe be friends with him because maybe she thinks he’s all alone. Although, he still thinks of her as a stranger, even though she insists she's a friend, and doesn't quite trust her yet. He also doesn’t really think about how other people go through life. He knows about his problems and the problems he goes through (examples of his problems on p.46 & 47), but he doesn’t really think about the problems other people go through. It occurred to us that Mrs. Shears and Christopher’s dad must have gotten into a fight that he didn’t know about. Mrs. Shears was probably mad about Christopher getting in her business and that’s why they’re not friends anymore. Christopher likes things tidy and organized. “And sometimes Mrs. Shears stayed overnight at our house and I like it when she did because she made things tidy and she arranged the jars and pans and tims in order of their height on the shelves in the kitchen and she always make their face outward and she put the knives and forks and spoons in the correct compartments in the culery drawer.”We all really like the book, so far, and sometimes have to stop ourselves from reading further.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Day #4In lit circles day four we talked about how christopher likes quoting people and that he can't tell the difference between people laughing at him and with him. He seems to be very logical, and thinks that everything needs to make sense, but we noticed he mentioned what aliens would be like if they existed, implying he thinks there's chance they exist. Usually, though, he sticks to subjects that he's positive about. We talked about how Christopher compares his mind to a video recorder. “And when people ask me to remember something I can simply press Rewind and Fast Forward and Pause like on a video recorder, but more like a DVD player because I don't have to Rewind through everything in between to get to a memory of something a long time ago.” p. 76. We talked about how he shows more emotion on p. 71 about the dogs death, but he never showed his emotion about all the human deaths like when he was told his mother died.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeDay #5In lit circles day five we discussed the section of the book with the letter from Christopher's mom, how we think the mom that died was a stepmom, and that the real mom was the one sending the letters. We think that Christoper was most likely adopted when he was young, and that maybe the biological mother didn't know about his Autism. She might have even been too young to have a child which is the reason he was given up for adoption, if he was. We don't think the mom is aware that Christopher doesn't know about the letters. She thinks that Christoper knows about her and is angry because she says “You haven't written to me yet, so I know that you are probably still angry with me.”
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeDay#6On lit circles day 6 an interesting and odd phrase Christopher said on page 100 was pointed out, “Eventually scientists will discover something that explains ghosts, just like they discovered electricity, which explained lightning, and it might be something about people's brains, or something about the earth's magnetic field, or it might be some new force altogether. And then ghosts won't be mysteries. They will be like electricity and rainbows and nonstick frying pans.” We came to agree that we think this quote meant that he thinks scientists will discover something that explains ghosts so that it will be a normal everyday thing like how we don't think that non stick frying pans are odd or out of the ordinary. Everyone is liking the book so far for the interesting turns and sentences like these. It's very hard not to read further.
I loved this book because it was so entertaining and readable, as you pointed out! One of my favorite parts was near the ghost part, in which he talks about the pictures taken of the fairies. Adding graphics, pictures, and math problems really made this book unique.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeDay #7In Lit Circles day 7 we talked about how last Lit Circle day we thought the father wasn't that good of a father from keeping the mother away from Christoper, but now that we think about it, he is a good father because he spends so much time with Christoper and is patient like the mother said in her letters. We talked about how the mother basically just gave up on Christoper because of his condition and that isn't what a good mother would do. We talked about how when Christoper said, “Then I stopped reading the letter because I felt sick. Mother had not had a heart attack. Mother had not died. Mother had been alive all the time. And Father had lied about this. I tried really hard to think if there was any other explanation but I couldn't think of one. And then I couldn't think of anything at all because my brain wasn't working properly.” This shows that he was overwhelmed and surprised, that is all we can get out of what he gave us because he never mentioned being sad or angry. When Christoper said “And Father had lied about this.” in that section we image that he was upset because he hates lies. We noticed that in the mother's letters, the mother made very many spelling mistakes. Everyone is really liking the book so far, even though it gets a little confusing, but we are excited to see what happens next and to see if he ever admits what he is really feeling if he understands.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeDay #8On Lit circles day 8 we talked about how when Christoper's dad touched Christopher's shoulder after he found out that Christoper read the letters. Then when his dad told Christoper that he killed the dog disbelief and confusion was his reaction, “I wondered if this was a joke, because I don't understand jokes, and when people tell jokes they don't mean what they say.” Christoper decided to have some fresh and to get away after he was positive his father was asleep he went out behind the shed and hid he said, “Then I sat down and I felt a bit safer. The book has gotten a lot more interesting and our group still really likes it so far.
On Lit Circles day #9 we where talking about what was mostly going through Christopher head. His fears, his pain and how he thinks. He explaines emotional pain as physical pain. “And thinking about this made me hurt, like when I fell over in the grass at the edge of a playground and I cut my knee.” Its like if he just can not imagine. His problems are clear and he narrates everything leaving nothing out. It his rather easy to read (except for when he does math problems) for its the simpleness of it. There isn't really any metaphors or ideas to think about. We all like this book.Sebastien, professional bloger
On Lit Circles Day #10. Christopher never uses feelings or descriptions to represent himself or things. Like a computer. He can spend hours doing the same thing over and over again. Like a head puzzle or doing the squares of 2, he can easily just detach his mind from the world and go to a place in his head like if it was a million years away from earth.. If there was to describe this book it would be unique. We still like this book, its interesting and captivates you into a whole new world.
On Lit Circles Day #11. He always thinks logically. Puzzles and math is what he likes the most because they always have an answer in the end. He can, though, get easily overwhelmed, things start to scramble up and he gets lots. He's being working on his issues and seams to have a trick to try to fix all his problems. Siting down and do some math or just taking a moment for everything to just slow down and readjust. In are lit circle we talked about mostly the reactions that he and other people would have when they reunite. Like if the police caught him, would he punch him and be in big trouble or would he just control himself. What about his mom, or if he sees his dad again. Christopher isn't really predictable. Still liking the book.