Mockingbird
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Mockingbird

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  14,719 ratings  ·  2,646 reviews
Caitlin has Asperger's. The world according to her is black and white; anything in between is confusing. Before, when things got confusing, Caitlin went to her older brother, Devon, for help. But Devon has died, and Caitlin's dad is so distraught that he is just not helpful. Caitlin wants everything to go back to the way things were, but she doesn't know how to do that. Th...more
Kindle Edition, 242 pages
Published April 15th 2010 by Puffin (first published January 1st 2010)
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Betsy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: I have Asperger's and when I saw a book that featured a female protagonist with Asperger's I was elated and HAD to read the book.

I came away from this book very satisfied. As a female with Asperger's I felt that Caitlin was portrayed realistically. There can be wide differences in how males and females present and I think the author managed to bring those out in Caitlin, though the intense plot does put Caitlin in a situation above and beyond normal everyday life.

A small town...more
Thomas
4.5 stars.

A moving story about an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s syndrome whose older brother dies in a school shooting and the steps she takes to get closure. Kathryn Erskine pulls this poignant tale off wonderfully – it is sad, but sad in a way that gives the reader hope.

Throughout the novel I had to remind myself that Caitlin was eleven as opposed to five or six; this isn’t a bad thing, and in fact it shows Erskine’s talent for character development. To see her grow by learning about em...more
Mark
This book doesn't lose its beauty or heart for me, no matter how many times I read it. It still gets me, every time.

"'How did you get to be so smart?'

I shrug. 'I'm really working hard on finesse.'

Then he takes my hands in his and I don't even pull them away because he is looking at my cuts closely and I would want to do that too if I saw cuts on somebody's hands so I let him look.

'Do you still really want to do this?'

I don't know if he means to keep cutting the oak tree or work on the chest but...more
Wendy
One of my sisters loved this, the other didn't like it. I'm somewhere in between. I thought the writing was well-done: smooth and polished. But otherwise, I thought this was heavy-handed (the author's note is a sad muddle which kind of explains this) and very one-note.

Perhaps this is a small thing, but Devon's Eagle Scout project is a big part of the book, and it irritated me that what is described as his project would not earn him an Eagle--it just isn't big enough and doesn't include the requi...more
Tahleen
As someone who has Asperger's, 10-year-old Caitlin has trouble understanding why people act a certain way and how to react to them in turn. She would always turn to her older brother Devon to explain things and situations for her, but Devon dies in a tragedy that rocks their entire community. So not only is Caitlin left without her most trusted friend and big brother, she must learn how to deal with the way her father is now acting, the way others treat her in school, learning empathy, and most...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
Mockingbird is a moving novel by Kathy Erskine in which she tries to send a very important message 'in hopes that we may all understand each other better'. This book was written after the Virginia Tech school shootings, which is of course a very emotive subject. Erskine handled the portrayal of the aftermath of this well.

I was drawn it from the very first page of Mockingbird by the unique writing style and distinct voice of our eleven year old narrator, Caitlin, who has Aspergers. We are thrown...more
Karen
An excellent addition to the growing list of fiction books with an autistic narrator. Ostracized by other 5th grade students already (because of her autism), Caitlin's role as the sister of a middle school boy killed in a school shooting only serves to make others more uncomfortable around her. Caitlin works hard to deal with the tragic, sudden death of her beloved brother and her father's resulting devastation. With the help of a wise school counselor she also makes progress towards learning ho...more
Jennifer
Simply the best children's ficton I've read since I was a kid. Tears sprung into my eyes by the end of the first short chapter, and I was hooked. It's complex but not overly complicated, and the Big Things That Happen (as Caitlin might put it) are slowly revealed. I love how the intersection of other characters such as first-grader Michael and class bully Josh are deftly tied together -- the ending is a stunner to pull off and had not one note of triteness or seemed forced in any way. The issues...more
Ana
A mente da Caitlin funciona a preto e branco. A Síndrome de Asperger não lhe permite compreender a complexidade das emoções que caracterizam as pessoas. Na verdade, eu não tenho Asperger e muitas vezes também me custa a compreendê-las!
Todos os dias desta menina tão especial, são uma aventura constante na procura dessa descodificação das emoções, onde existem sorrisos que não expressam paz e lágrimas que, afinal, podem ser de alegria.
Um livro pequenino, simples e muito bonito, que nos permite co...more
Mr. Bruton
***Spoiler Alert***
I don’t get it. That is most likely how you will feel as you read this book. But once you get to the end, you will Get It, just like the main character, Caitlin. In this realistic fiction book, the author does a good job of putting me in the place of a person with Asperger’s while telling a story with lots of emotion. It is not my favorite book, but it certainly teaches some good lessons.

This story takes place after a school shooting, and Caitlin’s family and fellow students...more
Kellee
Reviewed at:
http://www.teachmentortexts.com/2011/...

This was one of those books that I never wanted to end. I got to where I was reading so fast, that I realized that I wasn't reading the chapter titles any more- that is how much I was gobbling up her Caitlin's words. I could have read about Caitlin for days and days because her voice is so beautiful. Beautiful and real. This book puts asperger's into a format where others may find empathy for those around them who are a bit different. I love i...more
Jen
This was recommended by someone in my Adolescent Lit. Class. She didn't say much about it other than that it was a pretty easy read and that the main character has Aspberger's Syndrome. I read The Speed of Dark earlier this year and was surprised by how helpful it was in understanding the way people with Aspberger's see and hear the world and how things like color, loud noise, indirect speech, and facial expressions can be overwhelming and indecipherable. I'm hoping this will be a kid-friendly v...more
Carol
May 18, 2010 Carol rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids who like sad, but ultimately hopeful stories
With more and more young people diagnosed as being on the Asperger's/autism Spectrum, it's nice to see more novels coming out on the topic. Bearing in mind the caveat: If you've met one person with autism/Asperger's, you've met one person with autism/Asperger's, this was a touching, nicely written novel. The trick with having an autistic narrator is developing characters and emotions through the voice of one ill-equipped to do so, while staying true to that narrator's voice. Erskine seems to hav...more
Lauren
From the moment we are born, we begin learning. We watch the adults around us and mimic their actions and, slowly but surely, start to get the hang of the basics--sitting up, crawling, walking, talking. There is a whole other set of skills that most of us pick up naturally, not really having to consciously learn or practice them--the skill of recognizing when someone is angry, the skill of seeing that a friend is sad and offering them comfort. But did you ever think of what it would be like if y...more
Maximo
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Chiara
C has moved into young adult fiction so I am now reading what she reads. I think this book is going to be good for our family as it shows the world thru an 11-year old with Aspergers and since Jimmy is on the spectrum it can shed some light on what we will be dealing with.

I have to say I totally loved all the To Kill A Mockingbird parallels. This is a great book for teaching the kids about Aspergers and how they are different. I can't believe my 9 year old chose it but I am proud of her for doin...more
Diane
Ten-year-old Caitlin has plenty to deal with. Her older brother, Devin, was recently killed in a school shooting, her widowed father is nearly non-functional with grief---and to top it off, she has aspergers syndrome. Devin had always explained things to her, but now she is left to figure thing out without him. Along with her trusty dictionary and a compassionate school councilor, she struggles to find closure, understand empathy and make her first friend.

Narrated by Caitlin, with all her quir...more
Erin
Urgh, writing a review for this book will be tough. I'm not sure it's the kind of book I feel comfortable being silly about, so I don't know what to do exactly...

What type of book is this? This is a sad book. I have this thing I'm trying to do, where I put little sticky marker tab things (I'm so articulate today) on passages that I find particularly: romantic, anger-inducing, funny, wonderful, or sad. As logic would cause one to deduce, I use blue tabs for the sad parts.

I was only on page 48 whe...more
NebraskaIcebergs
In my seven years of working as a resource teacher, I have encountered several students with Aspergers Syndrome. Hence, my interest in reading Mockingbird by Kathyrn Erskine about ten-year-old Caitlin who sees everything as black and white because of her syndrome. Caitlin’s older brother Devon used to help her figure out the in-between stuff, except now Devon is dead as a result of school shootings. The latter is a topic that also resonates with me because most teachers, no matter how safe their...more
Tasha
In this small novel, Erskine has combined the tragedy of a school shooting with the unique voice of Asperger’s syndrome. Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, has been killed in a school shooting along with others. As Caitlin struggles to understand the emotions around her and the feelings she herself has, she has to do it for the first time without her brother helping her. She tries to do it without flapping her hands, without burying herself in her father’s sweater, but she does retreat to her safe...more
Carol Baldwin
If you want to teach your child or student what the word "empathy" means, then read Mockingbird together. The author, Kathryn Erskine, takes you inside the heart, mind and body of 10-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger's syndrome.

Caitlin's brother Devon was just shot and killed in a random shooting at his middle school. Caitlin and her father are left with a huge weight of grief as well as Devon's incompleted Eagle Scout project, a wooden chest draped in a gray sheet, that sits in the middle of...more
♥Xeni♥
Before reading this book I never realized how much in common it had with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time  by Mark Haddon. Not just because both main characters are autistic (well, the girl in Mockingbird had Asperger's Syndrome, which is a form of autism) but also because of the underlying stories.

I loved the charm that Caitlin shows the world, which really comes over since she's speaking in first person. She just doesn't understand some things that I've been able to grasp and understand since I was a kid and for me that is really difficul...more
ALPHAreader
Caitlin marks time from ‘The Day Our Life Fell Apart.’ The day Devon died.

Her brother was shot at school, by a fellow classmate. He left behind a half-finished Eagle Scout wooden chest, one little sister who is not allowed in his room and a father who now cries all the time.

Caitlin can’t understand how Devon died; the doctors said he had a hole in his heart that couldn’t be fixed or filled. But every time she walks past his closed bedroom door she half expects him to swing it open and invite he...more
Jessica Griggs
Wow. This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. And it isn't solely due to the content, but the innocence of the main character. Caitlyn is a beautiful mind and a sweet girl who persistently tries to fit into a world she does not understand. And I feel for her. Her constant struggle to be understood and to Get It really hits the heart. As a reader, I constantly felt sad for Caitlyn. Multiple times I was at the brink of shedding a couple tears for her because she is placed in such a...more
Tyler Elizabeth Bell
This book is so touching. Every day I think about the Sandy Hook victims and their families. Every day I think about the song "What Dosen't Kill You Makes You Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson, and no matter how long I think about the lyrics to the song or the recovery of Sandy Hook victims and their families, nothing can match the pain that 10 year old Caitlyn Smith is going through. There is no proof that tells the readers that Caitlyn knows what the definition of death is or that she knows that De...more
Cheryl Klein
Oct 24, 2009 Cheryl Klein rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cheryl by: Book group
Shelves: children-s
This book didn’t really work for me, mostly because I never believed fully in Caitlin as a real person with Asperger’s*: Her symptoms seemed a little too textbook, she used a lot of figurative language, and frequently it felt like she was being used as a cutesy naïf who makes mistakes, but can still tell truths and bring wisdom to all the regular people. (Much like the much-loathed-by-me Boy in the Striped Pajamas, I’m sorry to say, though truly it isn't nearly as bad as that book.) The author’s...more
Gwenyth Love
Most "normal" people have issues when it comes to finding closure.

Now imagine you are a young girl with Asperger's who is trying to find some closure when it comes to the senseless shooting of her older brother. Imagine how hard "closure" must be to find for her.

Mockingbird is a short but informative and enlightening story about Caitlin's search for closure after her older brother is killed in a school shooting. Most people treat her like she is a freak, and most assume she has no idea what has...more
Minli
I think Mockingbird tries to tackle too many things and suffers the same problem I had with The Duff. By stretching to address so many issues, this slim little tome can only do so superficially: the death of a sibling, the recovery of a community after a school shooting, and the experience of a ten year old with Asperger's syndrome. All worthy topics that deserve to be explored in children's literature. Some people I've spoken to about this book complain about the Voice (including the Random cap...more
Jen
My 11yr old daughter read this book, and told me I had to read it. I have to say that Miss Mia has yet to steer me wrong on good books. She likes stories with truth and depth poured into them. I so appreciate that about her. I loved Mockingbird. It's a beautiful touching story about an 11yr old girl with Asperger's syndrome, and how she and her father are coming to terms with the death of her brother in a school shooting. Sounds depressing right? Well it's really not. This one had me crying at t...more
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ENG 580 Spring 2014: Choice Book 6 Mockingbird 1 1 Apr 07, 2014 02:05PM  
Teen Critic: Mockingbird 7 17 Nov 06, 2013 10:46AM  
James River Writers: finished reading, spoilers allowed 1 4 Jun 25, 2013 10:51AM  
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine 25 102 May 03, 2013 09:05AM  
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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...more
More about Kathryn Erskine...
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“Sometimes I read the same books over and over and over. What's great about books is that the stuff inside doesn't change. People say you can't judge a book by its cover but that's not true because it says right on the cover what's inside. And no matter how many times you read that book the words and pictures don't change. You can open and close books a million times and they stay the same. They look the same. They say the same words. The charts and pictures are the same colors.

Books are not like people. Books are safe.”
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“I don't like the word soon because you don't know when it's going to sneak up on you and turn into NOW. Or maybe it'll be the kind of soon that never happens.” 32 likes
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