This first person narrative is told from an autistic young man's point of view. Christopher is a math whiz animal lover who finds that someone has murdered the neighbor's black poodle with a garden fork in the opening pages. He gets arrested after a police officer tries to touch him. Christopher freaks out and hits the cop, so he is now on caution. The story is set near London, England, and as always, I love the terminology, spellings, and slang from that area.
He is determined to find the killer even though his father has told him to mind his own business. He doesn't like to be touched and won't eat anything that is colored yellow. He loves anything that is the color red. He has a pet rat but would like a dog. In his investigation, he discovers that his father has lied to him about some big things. He needs to feel safe but no longer trusts his father.
This book will make you laugh and cry. As an educator, I enjoy a character that has learning differences and loved his teacher, Siobhan. She is kind, understanding, and works hard to help him succeed. We see her role in his life when he self-calms and works to figure things out. I was also glad she kept him from putting math problems in the bulk of the story.
This book shows how hard it is on a family when a child has a chronic condition. This book contains some language and adult situations but would be okay for an older teen. The Lexile measure is 1180L and contains math vocabulary and words many American readers may not have heard because they are from Great Britain. I think most teachers will appreciate Christopher and his way of looking at life.
During 2015, we gave 365 books to babies born too soon or born sick. That means 73 babies each received five books to help them on their path to becoming book lovers. Thanks for all your help with this project. I appreciate it more than you know.
If you'd like to donate books, check out this link, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on the links for ways to help the littlest of babies.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.