YAL - Young Adult Literature Presenter Unit 2005/2006



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the curious incident of the dog in the night-time
by Mark Haddon


YAL Presenter Unit 2005/2006

Subjects: English
Grade Level: 9th
Posted: 2005
Unit Created by: Chris Johnson and Mary Massie

What makes this a good YAL choice...

This book takes us into the neurologically world of a young British boy who can’t stand to be touched, hates the color yellow, is a math genius, and loves animals but does not track the emotions of other human beings. Living somewhere on the autism spectrum, Christopher‘s perceptions of almost everything are unnervingly out of sync with everyone around him. When he tries to figure out who killed his neighbor’s dog, he encounters family secrets that push him to test his courage in frightening new ways. This novel is both a mystery, and a coming of age story but its real power comes from letting the reader experience the world from Christopher’s vantage point. For example, a walk through a busy train station is so overwhelming, so terrifyingly overstimulating that he ends up curled in a ball under a bench for hours. Readers build understanding, empathy and appreciation for what it takes to grow up when your brain is wired for a very atypical experience of the world — Susan Garr


YAL Conference Workshop Description & Documents
What Difference Does Difference Make?
Chris Johnson and Mary Massie, Presenters

The book's hero Christopher finds himself disabled, uniquely gifted and different in important ways from the people around him. Our workshop will explore "difference" as it relates to themes in the novel: the nature of autism, math and logic, a "different" (from the mainstream) perspective on disability, and the effects of disability on adolescents and their families. Of special interest are writings from several individuals with autism about their experiences. — Workshop Description for YAL 2005


Unit Cover Sheet


See also Drama Unit