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Mockingbird

Mockingbird

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Kathryn Erskine

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  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 235 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 180mm x 28mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 15 April 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0399252649
  • ISBN 13: 9780399252648
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 240,320

Product description

Eleven year old Caitlin has lost her big brother in a school shooting. She has Asperger's, which complicates the slow process of rebuilding her life. Then Caitlin has an idea: perhaps she could complete her brother's Eagle Scout project as a way of finding closure?

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Author information

Kathryn Erskine spent many years as a lawyer before realizing that she'd rather write things that people might actually enjoy reading. She grew up mostly overseas and attended eight different schools, her favorite being the Hogwarts-type castle in Scotland. The faculty, of course, did not consist of wizards, although . . . how did the headmistress know that it was "the wee redhead" who led the campaign to free the mice from the biology lab? Erskine draws on her childhood--and her second childhood through her children--for her stories. She still loves to travel but nowadays most trips tend to be local, such as basketball and tennis courts, occasional emergency room visits, and the natural food store for very healthy organic chocolate with "life saving" flavonoids.

Customer reviews

By TeensReadToo 14 Oct 2010 5

Caitlin's brother, Devon, was one of three victims killed by a school shooter. His death leaves Caitlin and their father alone to pick up the pieces and make some sense of what is left.

Being able to mourn and share their grief is complicated by the fact that eleven-year-old Caitlin has a condition known as Asperger's syndrome. She does not recognize most social clues that moderate normal behavior. Unable to interpret simple facial expressions leaves her clueless about how to interact with others. Devon has always bridged the gap between his little sister and the rest of the world, but he is no longer there to help.

Caitlin gets some help from Mrs. Brook, a counselor at her school. They spend time every day working on social skills, manners, and what Mrs. Brook calls empathy. Caitlin's very literal approach to situations makes her a target for taunting and teasing that only aggravates the problem. Now, learning to grieve her brother's death is also an important part of her daily therapy.

One thing Devon left behind might prove useful as Caitlin and her father attempt to recover and move on. Devon's Eagle Scout project sits unfinished in their living room as a reminder that he will never return to complete it. When Caitlin gets the idea that she and her father could finish the project as a way to find closure, it seems like an impossible task. But with determination and some breakthroughs at school, maybe they can achieve the impossible.

MOCKINGBIRD is a heartwarming story of loss and recovery. The addition of Caitlin's struggle with Asperger's adds an amazing element to the tale. Kathryn Erskine recreates the world as seen through Caitlin's eyes in such a realistic and believable way; readers will be drawn in and inspired by this little girl's courage and strength. This book is truly a loving work of art.

*Gold Star Award Winner!

Review quote

Praise for MOCKINGBIRD "[A] fine addition to the recent group of books with autistic narrators." --"Booklist" "A strong and complex character study." --"Horn Book" "This heartbreaking story is delivered in the straightforward, often funny voice of a fifth-grade girl with Asperger's Syndrome." --"Kirkus", starred review "This is...a valuable book." --"School Library Journal" "Erskine works in powerful imagery throughout." --"Publishers Weekly", starred review