Fifteen-year-old Christopher has a photographic memory. He understands maths. He understands science. What he can’t understand are other human beings. When he finds his neighbour’s dog lying dead on the lawn, he decides to track down the killer and write a murder mystery about it. But what other mysteries will he end up uncovering?
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Read the first paragraph where Christopher discovers the dead dog. Can you complete the story from that point?
- The book is a murder mystery novel. Find out other stories in this genre… Are there authors who write lots of murder mysteries? Could you plan and write a murder mystery novel of your own?
- Christopher sometimes gets confused because people often talk using metaphors. Explore what metaphors are and make a list of them.
- This video is a title sequence based on the book. How well does it reflect the story?
- Why is the numbering system for each chapter unusual? What is special about those numbers?
- Christopher likes timetables. Can you make a complete timetable for your day? Could you challenge others by asking them to solve problems based on your timetable?
- Christopher thinks about tessellations in the story… Explore what tessellations are. Could you make up some of your own?
- In Chapter 47, Christopher mentions giving each letter in a person’s name a value based on the letter’s value in the alphabet (a=1, b=2 etc). He then adds these numbers up to find prime numbers (e.g. Jesus Christ = 151, Scooby Doo = 113). Could you find more names which have a total which equals a prime number?
- In Chapter 101, Christopher analyses a game show using algebra and by making a picture of all possible outcomes. Could you do the same with a gameshow that is on TV at the moment?
- In Chapter 167, Christopher doubles 2s in his head, reaching 33,554,432. How far can you double 2s in your head?
- Can you try the ‘Conway’s Soldiers’ problem mentioned in Chapter 191?
- Christopher likes to visualise and make plans for places. Could you make a map of your school / local area? What details would you need to include? Could you use it to navigate from one place to another?
- Christopher has Asperger’s, a form of autism. Could you find out more about this syndrome? How does it affect people?
- In Chapter 3, Christopher uses pictures to identify different emotions. Can you think of different types of emotions that people feel and use pictures to show them?
- In Chapter 73, Christopher makes a list of his behavioural problems. Could you make a list of your own strengths and weaknesses? What could you do to improve upon the weaknesses?