* Am I really supposed to write it every time in lower-case letters?
Anyhow, I just finished this book, a re-reading of it after reading it for the first time about five years ago in one one-way trip on a China bus to NYC. It's that short -- a nice little 3-hour read.
I don't quite remember it being so moving before. We're hearing everything through the voice of Christopher, who is autistic and has some different experiences with processing what other people are doing. This makes the narration come off as detached, and he'll be describing something that his mother or his father does, and you can tell they're going through a gut-wrenching experience, but it doesn't register with Christopher; he just describes what he sees.
This isn't unlike, say, Scout describing the angry lynch mob in To Kill a Mockingbird. She doesn't have a clue what is going on, but, we, as good readers, do. But, I would never assign To Kill a Mockingbird as summer reading, at least with rising 9th graders at our school. Being able to step outside of the narrator a little bit and critically think about what he or she is saying is a crucial skill that I don't think many rising 9th graders have.
I'll be very interested to see how the kids approach curious incident for their summer reading. Social Studies picked it as the "both classes" text, and I was supportive of the decision, and, with re-reading, I'm stil convinced it's a great book to read for them. But will they have the compassion or background knowledge about austism (Christopher never actually uses that term in the novel, I don't think) to read this like they should read it? We're planning on spending a week on it at the start of the school year, and that's it, and I hope that's enough.
I'm teaching Summer Bridge this year, so I will be with all these students for 60 minutes or so during the week of August 9-13. I'll have to do a bang-up job with setting up some things about this novel to help them get everything out of it that they should.
Still, a great read, regardless. I hope they like it a lot.
Mental Health Break - An incredibly intricate stop-motion on Instagram:
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