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Nashua Public Library Book Club for Adults on the Spectrum

11/04/2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Free








WHEN: Monday, November 4, 2019

TIME: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

WHERE: Nashua Public Library, Large Meeting Room, 2 Court Street, Nashua, NH, 03060

BOOK: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Hadden

HOSTS: Kristen Gurciullo, Reference Librarian Nashua Public Library and Michele Cantara, Co-Director of Adult Services AANE

COST: Free to attend (registration required)

DESCRIPTION: The Asperger/Autism Network, in partnership with the Nashua Public Library, has created a book discussion group for post-high school adults with an Asperger/autism or related profile.

The group meets every month to discuss a specific book (fiction or nonfiction). Post-high school adults on the spectrum are welcome to attend the meetings, whether or not they have finished the book selected for the meeting. Here at the book selections for the first three book club meetings. Books for future meetings will be selected by the group:

November 4: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Hadden

December 9: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

January 13: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

February 10: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Each book can be borrowed from the library with a library card for the Nashua Public Library. Library cards may be obtained free-of-charge at the information desk. Book club participants from other towns should make arrangements to borrow this book from their local library.

CODE OF CONDUCT: This book club is intended for post-high school adults on the spectrum who are able to independently participate in group discussions without the assistance of a caretaker. Parents and caretakers are welcome to stay nearby in the library, but should not expect to attend the book club discussion.

Participants at AANE events are expected to act respectfully toward other participants and group facilitators. AANE reserves the right to deny admission to and/or ask individual participants to leave an event. For more information see FAQS. If you have any questions, please contact nancy.schwartz@aane.org.

Please register by Friday, November 1, 2019

Note: AANE Adult Services programs are intended for post-high school adults only.


Discussion Questions:

1.      How do you think this novel bridges the gap between literature for adults and children?

2.      What do you think Haddon’s illustrations add to the story and to our understanding of Christopher’s character?

3.      Discuss the relationship between father and son in the novel. How well do you think Christopher’s father copes with his son’s condition?

4.      From your experience, did the book present Asperger’s/autism accurately? Can you relate to it? Why or why not?

5.      How far do you think the author has used Christopher’s alienating condition to expose intricate truths about our modern lives? Do you think this was his intention in Christopher’s exposure of his parent’s secret?

6.      On pages 45–48, Christopher describes his “Behavioral Problems” and the effect they had on his parents and their marriage. What is the effect of the dispassionate style in which he relates this information?

7.      Christopher likes the idea of a world with no people in it [p. 2]; he contemplates the end of the world when the universe collapses [pp. 10–11]; he dreams of being an astronaut, alone in space [pp. 50–51], and that a virus has carried off everyone and the only people left are “special people like me” [pp. 198–200]. What do these passages say about his relationship to other human beings? What is striking about the way he describes these scenarios?

8.      On pages 67–69, Christopher goes into the garden and contemplates the importance of description in the book he is writing. His teacher Siobhan told him “the idea of a book was to describe things using words so that people could read them and make a picture in their own head” [p. 67]. What is the effect of reading Christopher’s extended description, which begins, “I decided to do a description of the garden” and ends “Then I went inside and fed Toby”? How does this passage relate to a quote Christopher likes from The Hound of the Baskervilles: “The world is full of obvious things which nobody by chance ever observes” [p. 73]?

9.      Which scenes are comical in this novel, and why are they funny? Are these same situations also sad, or exasperating?

10.  Christopher’s conversations with Siobhan, his teacher at school, are possibly his most meaningful communications with another person. What are these conversations like, and how do they compare with his conversations with his father and his mother?

11.  On pages 83–84, Christopher explains why he doesn’t like yellow and brown, and admits that such decisions are, in part, a way to simplify the world and make choices easier. Why does he need to make the world simpler? Which aspects of life does he find unbearably complicated or stressful?

12.  What is the effect of reading the letters Christopher’s mother wrote to him? Was his mother justified in leaving? Does Christopher comprehend her apology and her attempt to explain herself [pp. 106–10]? Does he have strong feelings about the loss of his mother? Which of his parents is better suited to taking care of him?

13.  Christopher’s father confesses to killing Wellington in a moment of rage at Mrs. Shears [pp. 121–22], and swears to Christopher that he won’t lie to him ever again. Christopher thinks, “I had to get out of the house. Father had murdered Wellington. That meant he could murder me, because I couldn’t trust him, even though he had said ‘Trust me,’ because he had told a lie about a big thing” [p. 122]. Why is Christopher’s world shattered by this realization? Is it likely that he will ever learn to trust his father again?


6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Stephanie Birkdale, AANE
617-393-3824 x32


Outside of MA


Nashua Public Library, Medium Meeting Room
2 Court Street
Nashua, NH 03060 United States
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