Seven minutes after midnight, Christopher John Francis Boone found a dead dog outside of Mrs. Shears’ house, stabbed straight through with a garden fork. Since Christopher’s teacher had encouraged him to write a story, he decides to write a murder mystery: an account of his own investigations into the dog’s death. Despite his father’s command that he “stay out of other people’s business,” he sets out to detect who killed the dog—and ends up uncovering a host of family secrets in the process.
Christopher has Asperger’s syndrome. The entire novel is told in his voice in a stream-of-consciousness style which gradually reveals the details of his life to the reader. The book examines both the challenges that Christopher faces in relating to his family and those around him and the beauty of his world and his unique and brilliant perspective on life. Mark Haddon, who has worked with children on the autism spectrum, crafts the story masterfully around the murder mystery framework. Christopher’s voice is believable and clear, and his experiences range from humorous to heartbreaking. I highly recommend it!