I've been getting back into reading fiction recently after taking a break from books. I've been going back over old books that I used to read at my high school, and there's this one book I want to read again, but I cannot remember the name of it for the life of me.

From what I can remember, it's based in Britain, and it's about a boy who I think had Asperger's and/or photographic memory. I can't remember much about the plot itself, but I specifically remember the boy's father or step-father being an antagonistic character. The book follows the boy's and the dad's perspectives, and the dad's name was Chris. I think the boy was called Dan. I seem to remember race being a topic in the story. I feel like the boy in the book was mixed race or something along those lines.

The reason I wanted to read it again was that I never actually got to the end of the book. I graduated before I had a chance to finish it.

Any help is appreciated!

  • 1
    Welcome to Literature! This was a nice first question, but in future please remember that story ID questions should have clear, distinctive titles. We know that you're looking for a book just from the tags on the question, but ideally the most distinctive details about it should be put in the title, so that anyone seeing it will know what kind of book it's about just from that. You can find more tips on the story-ID tag info page.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 1:24

2 Answers 2


While it doesn't seem to mention Asperger's, The Edge by Alan Gibbons otherwise seems a good fit.

The Edge is a young adult novel by Alan Gibbons, published in 2002. The novel features the young Danny Mangam as he battles his mixed race and escapes with his mother from his abusive stepfather (NB this character is called Chris Kane). It was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal

I found this by searching 'Novel YA (for 'Young Adult') Chris Dan mixed-race'. I tried that when the same search, but with 'Asperger's' rather than 'mixed-race' came up blank.

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    YES! Thank you! That's the one. I might have remembered the mental health part differently, but I remember the boy having a photographic memory mentioned in the book at some point. Thank you for the help! Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 17:21

This is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon. The protagonist is a boy named Christopher who has "behavioural difficulties" (Asperger's is implied but never explicitly stated). At the start of the story, he lives with his father Ed Boone in Swindon, England, but during the course of his investigations of the death of the next door neighbour's dog, he discovers that

his father not only killed the dog, but lied to him about his mother being dead. So Christopher runs away from his father and goes to find his mother in London.

  • That doesn't sound quite right to me. The father figure was named Chris, not the boy. I think the boy was called Dan. Now that I've thought about it more, I seem to remember race being a topic in the story. I feel like the boy in the book was mixed race or something along those lines. I apologise for being vague. It's been several years since I finished education, and it's all I remember about the book. Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 1:35
  • @killertoadstools Since you mention race - any chance it was Benjamin Zephaniah's Refugee Boy? (I suspect not, since there's no Asperger's and the boy is called Alem, but worth a try.)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 1:50
  • It is probably a good idea to edit that information into the question post, @killertoadstools. That's some important and useful info about the story, and it's somewhat hidden down here in the comments. I hope you find what you're looking for :)
    – Shokhet
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 12:15

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