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Pages and Files
Art of Racing in the Rain
Book of Lost Things
Chant to Soothe
Curious Incident 1
Curious Incident 2
Cutting for Stone
Devil in the White City
For the Win
Half a Life
The Help 2
In Cold Blood
Koko Be Good
Life of Pi 1
Life of Pi 2
Lost Symbol 2
Miracle of St. A's
Other Wes Moore
Pride & Prejudice
Red & Me
Thousand Splendid Suns
Thousand Splendid Suns 2
Town Called Alice
Where Men Win Glory
Year of Living Biblically
Curious Incident 2
Location: Mr. Smith/Ms. Thompson's Room
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
by Mark Haddon
Discussion Facilitator: Julia Butler
Jocelyn Davies, Luca Seid, Julia Butler, Emily Godfrey, Patrick Sullivan, Dylan Peacock, Cam McLean, and Mr. Ottow
General Questions: 20 minutes
How did you like the book? / Did you find it to be a quick read?
What was your favorite passage from the book?
What do you think the turning point of the book was?
Who was your favorite character?
Did the book make an impact on you?
Did this book remind you of any other book or movie you have been exposed to?
Did you wish the author had done anything different with the book?
Character Whip: 10 minutes
As a group (or as an individual whip) create a master list of characters with a short description of them and how they contributed to the story.
Book Specific Questions: 50 minutes
Did you like the diagrams in the book? If so, what was your favorite one? If not, what was one that you did not like and why?
What did you think of the odd chapter arrangement?
How did the author’s style influence your perception of people with Asperger’s syndrome?
What was your favorite scene in the book?
How do the graphics of the book covers (above) reflect the story and/or change your thoughts about the book?
What do you think about Christopher’s decision to go into the city by himself?
Do you think Christopher’s father was justified in killing Wellington?
What do you think of the way Wellington was killed?
Was Christopher’s mother justified in leaving?
What do you think about Christopher’s father’s decision to lie about his wife’s “death”?
Do you think Christopher’s father was justified in hiding the letters?
Do you think Christopher’s father was a dangerous man?
What are some of Christopher’s qualities that you admire?
What happens next in the book?
If you could sit down with Mark Haddon and ask him some questions, what would they be?
Homemade movie trailer:
Interview with the author
Rewrote a scene from another character's point of view
Today starts out like any other day. Morning alarm off at seven thirty. A delicious sunny side up egg with the yoke slightly runny for breakfast. Brush teeth. Shower. Get dressed. Today is special though, I am going to visit my mother, which means I should probably switch my normal white socks to the ones she gave me for Christmas. I have come to the conclusion that these horrid black and brown diamond pattern socks should not be in existence. Why does my loving mother always seem to find the one thing that is truly hideous to wrap up and gift me with on holidays? It’s been this way my whole life. I’m more of a bright person. For example, my bright green rain coat that I bought myself for Christmas. Luckily, today is a rainy day so after finishing getting dressed, I slip on my black shoes (to go with the black in the socks) along with my green raincoat and off I go.
I pull into the train station knowing that today is going to be long. Visiting my mother is always an ordeal. I do have one hope though, Nora. Nora has been one of my closest friends ever since I moved to the city. She teaches a guitar class close to my place and takes the train over. In the back of my mind I was hoping that I may run into her and get a chance to chat before committing myself to a day with my mother. But the chance of running into her was extremely slim, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
Walking in I instantly transition to the ways of the train station. I bought my ticket and am immediately sucked into the river of people. Five minutes or so after I reach my platform, I see the flashing sign “TRAIN APPROACHING.” I glance quickly around for Nora only to find a young boy running into the train tunnel, the way that the train was going to be coming.
Is he trying to kill himself?
I think, glancing around to see if anyone else had noticed. But no one seemed to be the least bit fazed by the boy running towards the train. Seeing that there wasn’t a lot of time I ran over to him and shouted, “Jesus. What are you doing?”
But the boy only replied with, “Toby . . . Toby . . . Toby.” He was holding out his hand like he was calling something. He seemed to not even know I was there.
I couldn’t see the train yet, but I didn’t know what to do. The boy was still running down the tunnel, so I shouted again, “Get out of there, for fuck’s sake!” Finally he looked up.
He continued calling, “Toby . . . Toby . . .” and then I saw it. A rat. That’s what this boy was calling, a disgusting brown and white rat.
A rat!? Who brings a rat to a train station?
He’s going to get himself fucking killed and I’m going to be the witness.
I grabbed his shoulder and the boy screamed, but the scream was deafened by the sound of a train. I looked up in complete horror. The train was coming. “Oh Christ. Oh Christ,” I said and looked down to realize the boy had caught his fucking rat.
Yes, now we can get out of here
, I thought. But to my surprise the boy wasn’t going anywhere he was frantically trying to get up on the platform without using his rat holding, occupied hands. The train was so close so I grabbed him praying that he wouldn’t scream. My quick prayers were obviously not heard because not only did he scream this time, he stared frantically squirming too. He squirmed and screamed until we both fell over.
“What the fuck do you think you were playing at?” I asked after we both got up. But the boy didn’t answer. “What were you doing?” I asked again, trying to get something to come out of this boy’s mouth.
Finally he said, “I was finding Toby. He’s my pet rat.”
I didn’t respond to this because I was too distracted to the fact that Nora had gotten off the train and was heading towards us. Boy did she look confused.
. I guess I was heard
. “Is he OK?” she asked.
“Him? Thanks a fucking bundle. Jesus Christ. A pet rat. Oh shit. My train.” I replied, seeing my train leave. I ran and pounded on the door that was slowly moving away from me. People were giving me weird looks and I noticed that my nose was bleeding from the fall. I walked back to Nora holding a handkerchief to my face. She had stopped talking to him and was heading towards me. Without thinking twice, I jumped through the open doors of another train, leaving Nora alone with the boy. The last thing I got out to her was, “Mad as a fucking hatter. Jesus.”
Rewrote scene told from Christopher's fathers point of view.
The moment Edward stepped into the house, he knew something wasn’t right. There was an ominous feeling lurking in the air. On everyday as far as he could remember, whenever he came home from work, he could hear Christopher in the kitchen or living room. Usually he was making himself a snack or watching television. Edward took no notice to it on an average day, but now that its presence had disappeared, the house felt strangely unfamiliar.
Ed took off his drenched coat and set it aside as he shouted, “Christopher?” waiting for a reply, but received none.
“Christopher, are you there?” he called out again, peering up the stairwell. Still nothing. Ed slowly began to ascend the staircase, pausing ever so often in case he picked up on the faintest sound. The only thing he could hear was the occasional scratching of Toby, Christopher’s pet rat. It was coming from Christopher’s room. As Edward climbed, he noticed that Christopher’s door had been left ajar. Finally, after what had felt like hours, Ed reached the top of the stairs. Reaching out, he pushed Christopher’s door open and poked his head in. There, curled into a human ball on the rug, lay Christopher. An open envelope resting in his hand, he was covered in his own sick. Immediately, Ed realized what had occurred.
“Christopher, those are...Oh shit...Oh shit, shit, shit, shit.” Ed stood as still as a statue, petrified at what he had just witnessed. After all these years of secrecy, his son had finally found the letters from his mother. Now he knew she was alive. Instantly, a million thoughts rushed to Ed’s head. What was he thinking? He should have told Christopher that his mother was alive this entire time. He couldn’t believe he had been so stupid. Now Christopher had found out, in the worst way possible. He was still dumbfounded by what had happened, but at the same time he had had an eerie feeling that this day would eventually come.
After about an eternity of astonishment, Ed finally snapped back into reality.
He rushed to his son’s side and whispered, “Oh Christ, Christopher.” The look on Christopher’s face frightened him. He gazed up at his father with his glassy eyes, motionless. Tears began to bubble up in Ed’s eyes. “I’m sorry Christopher. I’m so, so sorry. You read the letters.” A faint groaning noise began to protrude from Christopher’s lips. It scared Ed even more. “I did it for you good, Christopher. Honestly I did. I never meant to lie. I just thought... I just thought it was better if you didn’t know...” By now, Ed was sobbing. Out of all the pain he felt right now, the worst of it was that he knew this was his fault, he had allowed this to happen.
“I was going to show them to you when you were older,” he choked on his own words. “It was an accident.” Silence. Christopher shuddered in his arms, more stunned than even his father.
Edward, face wet with tears, gazed down at his son. Christopher had been the last thing in his life he had left, but now he had ruined it, just like the others.
(Reaction to Mark Haddon’s A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time)
I knew it was a Good Day because after Father and I left the house at 8:07am, four red cars passed us by on the way to school. I was glad that today was going to be a Good Day because I am taking my maths A-level exam today. Last night I couldn’t get to sleep, which is not a good thing because Siobhan always tells me to get enough sleep the night before a test. At 2:51am I decided to get up and go for a walk. I like walking around alone at night because it feels like I have the whole world to myself. But when I got outside the moon looked yellow. So instead of going for a walk I had to lie face-down on the grass until the moon stopped being yellow.
Father woke me up the next morning. I had fallen asleep on the lawn and the morning dew on the grass made my pajamas feel wet and gross. Father was quite angry with me. I started counting prime numbers (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, etc.) in my head to block out his shouting.
I should probably get back to telling you about my maths A-level exam. Siobhan said that writers don’t go off topic. And I want to be a Great Writer when I grow up.
The car ride was exactly eighteen minutes long, one minute later than usual, which made me feel anxious. But Father told me not to worry, we just ran into an extra red light this morning. Then we passed by three yellow cars in a row, which made me feel extra nervous because one more yellow car would have made today a Black Day. And you can’t have a Good Day and a Black Day at the same time.
Father wished me good luck when I got out of the car. I don’t know why anyone would wish someone bad luck unless you were a person whose face looked like this all the time:
Mrs. Forbes told me to Keep My Distance from those people. But sometimes when it’s a Black Day, my face ends up looking like that too.
I wish Siobhan or Mrs. Forbes was my test proctor, but I got stuck with Mr. Smith. He had a yellow shirt on that said:
Mountain Valley Association
Saving One Tree at a Time
So I already didn’t like him. I tried to turn my desk so I couldn’t see his yellow shirt, but then he told me to put it back. Right when I was about to start screaming, Siobhan walked in and wished me good luck. I think she must have noticed something was wrong because she said,
“Mr. Smith, can I have a word with you please?”
Then she and Mr. Smith walked out of the room and 91 seconds later he came back wearing a blue shirt. I counted the breaths I took so that I could Calm Down.
Mr. Smith gave me the first part of the exam at 9:02 am. It was a very easy test until he started annoying me at 9:19am. His Morning Snack of pretzels and chips made too much noise so that instead of my thoughts being clear and right, my thoughts became mushy and wrong. I started kicking my desk but Mr. Smith didn’t like that:
“Christopher, please stop doing that.”
“Mr. Smith, please stop doing that.”
“Christopher, you need to focus on your test.”
I decided not to say anything back to Mr. Smith because Mother says that Talking Back is not a good thing to do because it makes people mad. Mr. Smith gave me a five minute warning so I’d know when to stop working. But this interrupted my thoughts to that’s basically Strike Two against Mr. Smith. After Section 1, I got a break of seven minutes. In total I spent three hours and twenty-five minutes taking my maths A-level exam. It was the best I had ever felt about taking a test. It was hard, and I broke twelve pencils, but I got a high five and a cherry popsicle after I finished. Siobhan said she was very proud of me. And if I had drawn my face at that moment it would have looked like this:
Jocelyn DaviesRewrote Scene:
(Reaction to Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time)
Why do all the women in my life walk out on me? Why am I cursed to live alone? I don’t want to put the blame on him, but Christopher is just to much to handle. Jeeze, he’s a sweet kid, but he’s weird to everyone else, he just doesn’t understand people. Give the kid any maths problem, and he can fricken whip the answer out of nowhere, but put him in a social situation, and he doesn’t know shit. It makes me so sad and angry at the same time. I always thought Eileen Shears would be different because she knew Christopher, but apparently not. This is why I came to talk to her, to ask if her problem was with me or Christopher. But as I sit here staring at her, watching her mouth move and her face bunch up into unattractive expressions, I am starting to realize it doesn’t really matter what I say anymore. She never freaking listens to me, or what I have to say, she always only complains about herself. She complains that Christopher is weird, and that he should be sent away to a school on the other side of England, she complains that I am too busy for her, and that I don’t make enough money to ever support her needs. I can feel my blood start to boil as she yells
“ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME, ED? DO YOU EVEN CARE WHAT I HAVE TO SAY!?”
“NO!” I scream back, “I DON’T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY, NOT NOW, NOT EVER.”
Eileen’s face twisted into one last ugly grimace and pointed to the door “get. out. now.” She growled with a low voice. She walked me to the door and then with a loud bang slammed it behind me. The blood pounded in my ears and I stood for a moment as the anger welling up inside of me was almost too much to take. All of a sudden Wellington, her yappy poodle, came and began to bark at me and pull at my clothes. We had never liked each other, but now it was full out war. The stupid little dog was all over me, but I couldn’t get him off. Then with one sharp bite he took a chunk from my hand. That was it, with a scream I ran down her front stairs and grabbed the garden fork next to the railing. Wellington was chasing after me and with one swift thrust I impaled not only Wellington, but the ground beneath him so that he--skewed on the garden fork--was on his side, but the fork was straight up in the air. It was a gruesome sight as blood began to pool out of the little dog, and I sat and stared at it for a few seconds, feeling the blood, as well as my temper, drain out of me. “What have I done?” I quietly asked the air. Her garden was eerily quiet and I rushed across the street to my house to wash off the blood. “Why didn’t I just kick the little bugger, why couldn’t I control my temper? What is going to happen to him?” I kept asking myself those questions throughout the night and with a heavy conscience and a few sleeping pills I finally made my way to bed.
“BRINNGGG BRINNGGG” A phone call at 2:08? What’s going on? I sat up in bed with a start and groped around the room for the telephone. “Mr. Ed Boone?” A voice on the other end asked “We have your son, Christopher, here at to police station, will you please come down for questioning?”
Conversation between two people
Donald: Hey dude! i see your reading the same book i just finished (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time)
Chuck: Yeah man, it wasn’t that great of a book in my opinion.
Donald: What do you mean? I thought it was a great book, I love mystery’s
Chuck: Well I think the way the book was set up seemed really lame.
Donald: How so?
Chuck: It just didn’t seem to interesting to me. The book was too basic, Nothing really happened till about half way threw the book when Christopher finds out the mystery of the killing.
Donald: I suppose I can see where you are coming from on that note, but I thought that they did a great job on creating the main character in the book Christopher Boone.
Chuck: I’m going to have to disagree with that statement. I personally think they focussed to much on Christopher’s mental disability then the actual mystery itself.
Donald: Right you are Chuck, but the main character having autism is what made the book so interesting to me. Having a main character solve a case with a mental disability that allows him to be super smart just awkward around humans.
Chuck: Donal. The book was a mystery..not a story about a mentally disable kid with a mentor.
Donald: You see this is where we have a disagreement here. This book was not all cut out to be a mystery. It was simply a story of a disable kid who had to solve a incredible mystery and also work around the changes in his autism along with the difficulties in his life.
Chuck: Well Donald I give up arguing. How bout we meet again later this week and argue about something else, I’m late for my dinner plans.
Donald: Sounds good to me Chuck, say hi to your mom for me at dinner.
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