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Community book project brings attention to autism

March 21, 2007

KALAMAZOO--The Western Michigan University Center for Autism is joining a community book reading project by sponsoring a special event on campus March 27 to discuss this year's selected book, which deals with autism.

A campuswide, interdisciplinary discussion is being held on Tuesday, March 27, to talk about "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time," which has been selected by the Kalamazoo Library for its Reading Together program. Everyone in the University community who has read the book, as well as members of the public, are invited to join the discussion from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the President's Dining Room of the Bernhard Center.

Reading Together is an effort by the Kalamazoo Public Library to involve local residents in a countywide reading program that involves dozens of organizations and thousands of people throughout Kalamazoo County. From Feb. 17 to March 31, people of all ages and walks of life will read and discuss important issues raised by the book.

This year's selection, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time," was written by Mark Haddon. It tells the story of Christopher John Francis Boone, an autistic boy who knows the capitals of all the countries of the world and every prime number up to 7,057, but has no understanding of human emotions. At age 15, his carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor's dog, Wellington, impaled with a garden fork and is initially blamed for the killing. He decides to find the real killer himself and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holms, for inspiration.

For more information about the WMU event, contact Dr. Linda LeBlanc, WMU associate professor of psychology, at linda.leblanc@wmich.edu.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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