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In Search of Mockingbird

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3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  618 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
A runaway seeks Harper Lee for answers

Sometimes the things that need to be discovered aren't so easily found at home. Erin is certain that this is true in her case. A book is all that connects Erin to her mother, who died when she was a baby. But how much can Erin really learn about her mother from a tattered copy of To Kill a Mockingbird? On the eve of her sixteenth birth
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Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published April 1st 2007)
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YA Novels of 2007
44th out of 154 books — 53 voters
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430th out of 781 books — 1,247 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 996)
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Shannon
Jan 17, 2009 Shannon rated it did not like it
Oh jesus christ. Within the first ten pages when she said something like "One notebook isn't enough to hold all my feelings" I knew this book was going to suck. And it did. The plot is about this like, 16 year old little emo fucker who is obsessed with To Kill A Mockingbird, and her mom's dead, and she's reading her mom's journal and she decides to run away and try to visit Harper Lee b/c she thinks that going to fix all her emo little problems (I don't like my step mom and NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME ...more
Scott
Nov 24, 2008 Scott rated it liked it
It's a nice book. I'm really annoyed by books that rely so heavily on great works of fiction. It seems like they are just using it for a crutch. Or to show off that the author likes literature and so their book must be literature. Really it is kind of a throw away book. We've heard this message before. None of the characters are that new or entertaining or interesting. That said, the writing is solid and the story moves along briskly to an altogether "nice" ending. Nothing groundbreaking, but no ...more
Kimberly
Jun 30, 2010 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kimberly by: springville library program
Fun, easy read. Probably a 3.75 but I rounded it up to a 4. Loved that it talked about Perryville, Cape Giraurdeau, Sikston, and my home town of Jackson, Missouri. Ironically we were driving down I-55 towards those towns as we got to that part in the book. Books on tape are such a great thing when you are one cross counrty drives. I also like that it took "To Kill a Mockingbird" and found life lessons from it to draw inspirations from.
Alissa Bach
Jan 20, 2010 Alissa Bach rated it it was amazing
Erin's mother died when she was a baby, and Erin is deeply curious about the woman she knows so little about--especially since speaking of her mother seems to be taboo among her father and brothers. The only clues Erin has about who her mother was is a battered copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, which she has re-read so many times she can recite whole passages by heart.

Then the night before Erin's 16th birthday, her father gives her the journal her mother kept when she was 16. Through reading it, E
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Cathi
Jan 03, 2010 Cathi rated it liked it
On the eve of her 16th birthday Erin's father announces that he is getting married. Her two brothers are happy for him but she just can't accept it. Her mother died a week after she was born, she never had bond with her, didn't know much about her. All she has is a weathered copy of To Kill A Mockingbird that she found in the attic a few years ago, her mothers favorite book. Why is it so hard for her to accept this news. That night her father gives her a gift, her mothers diary from when she wa ...more
Sylvia
Sep 01, 2008 Sylvia rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Buku ini ditulis oleh penulisnya karena terinspirasi oleh TKAM nya Harper Lee. Sama seperti saya yang baca ini juga karena terinspirasi oleh TKAM. Dan kebetulan juga baru kelar baca TKAM, jadi yah rasanya pas aja kalo disambung dengan buku ini.

Buku ini bercerita tentang kehidupan seorang remaja berusia 16 tahun, bernama Erin. Dia hidup dengan ayah dan kedua kakak laki-lakinya. Ditinggal ibunya sejak bayi (sementara ayahnya enggan bercerita tentang ibunya sama sekali) membuat Erin ingin sekali me
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Becky White
Oct 22, 2007 Becky White rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teens, People who loved To Kill a Mockingbird
Shelves: mocknewbery2008
I loved this book. I'm not sure if it's the best contribution to children's literature this year, but I loved it. Of course, I love To Kill a Mockingbird much more -- and I enjoyed reading a book about somebody who loves that book as much as I do.

I was impressed with the character development -- and I do mean character -- there were lots of characters in this little novel, and Erin develops her own character or value system as the story goes on.

My criticism is that Erin seemed a bit immature for
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Kerri
Apr 26, 2008 Kerri rated it really liked it
Shelves: girl-books
Very sweet book about a girl turning 16 and missing her mother that she never knew. You don’t have to read To Kill a Mockingbird to understand this book. The girl just wants to be accepted by her father and brothers, but they just don’t “get” her. Girls will like this book, but it is definitely NOT a boy book.

Summary: It's 1986 in St. Paul, MN, and Erin is about to turn 16 when her father announces that he's marrying his girlfriend. Her brothers are thrilled, but what the teen really wants is
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Kim
May 28, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who love To Kill a Mockingbird
Recommended to Kim by: the author
The reason I picked this up is because I attended a young author's workshop last week with my daughter and the author was one of the presenters at one of the classes we attended. Also, I always enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird and my grandfather knows Harper Lee, so I was curious. I DO think I enjoyed this book a bit more because I had met the author and talked to her about it, but I did really enjoy the book. It is definitely more fun to read if you are familiar with TKaM, but I believe she gives ...more
Judine
Aug 11, 2008 Judine rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Ellsworth, like Harper Lee, tells her first-person story very effectively. Erin is an engaging character and narrator, and I like that she realized she didn't need to meet Harper Lee in order for her journey to be complete. Her obsession with Mockingbird is totally understandable, given her parallels with Scout (Erin's mother died when she was a few weeks old), and her mother's love of the book. I appreciate some of Ellsworth's more subtle touches, like Erin's kitten being named Miss Maudie. How ...more
Hui Lin
Jun 01, 2008 Hui Lin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: 09th
I think this is a really good book. Because it talks about something that I had never read in any books. In this book, the protagonist is Erin. Her mother died when she was very young. And now the only things that she knows about her mother was from the book To Kill A Mockingbrid with the notes her mother took in it. On her 16th birthday, her father gave her her mother's diary. And after that she decide to seek for the author of her mother's favorite book, Harper Lee. And in her jourey, she lear ...more
Joy
Jan 11, 2008 Joy rated it did not like it
After learning her of her father's plans to remarry, sixteen-year old Erin runs away from home and seeks out Harper Lee, the author of her late mother's favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird. So far, unimpressive. First, the book won't make sense to anyone who hasn't read Mockingbird. Second, Erin seems much more like a twelve-year old than a sixteen-year old. Third (and related to the second), I can't see anyone but the very youngest teens finding this other than twee. That said, it might work ...more
Dayna
Aug 09, 2015 Dayna rated it really liked it
"I thought that my life was awful, or maybe I willed it so, but nothing's as bad as we make it out to be. Like a dull, gray March sky, the sun will, sooner or later, find a way to peek through."
Plainsboro Public Library
Feb 22, 2015 Plainsboro Public Library rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews-for-ya
The first time I read this book, I thought it was a parody of the book To Kill A Mockingbird, but I stood corrected. In Search of Mockingbird introduces the readers to Erin, the only daughter in a family with two brothers and a single dad. Feeling like an outcast in school and at home, she clings to the remnants of her mother she has found around the house, one of which is a well-worn copy of To Kill a Mockingbird with dog-eared pages full of her mother’s thoughts. After a particularly grueling ...more
Deb
Dec 04, 2014 Deb rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Stories that are shared can have a way of connecting us. The copy of To Kill a Mockingbird that Erin reads over and over again in her connection to her long dead mother. No one seems to understand her need to know her Mom, her Dad won't talk about her, her brothers could care less. Erin is scared that once her Dad marries his fiance, she'll lose her chance to find out more about her Mother forever. She's not quite sure why, but she takes her mom's book and her mom's diary and decides to visit Mo ...more
Sally
Mar 28, 2010 Sally rated it really liked it
On Erin's 16th birthday she begins a pilgrimage to Harper Lee's home in Monroeville, Alabama. Her mother passed away when she was a baby and she only knows her from the notes made in the book To Kill A Mockingbird. Erin knows that TKAM is her mother's favorite book as it is hers, and she wants to see Harper Lee to find answers to questions about life. Her 30+ hours on the bus awaken her spirit and teach her about people and life through the interesting passengers she meets. I thoroughly enjoyed ...more
Sally Kruger
Erin's mother died before Erin was old enough to know her. Everyone is thrilled that her father is finally about to remarry, but the idea is making Erin feel uncomfortable. She always wished her father shared more information about her mother so Erin can hardly believe it when his birthday gift to her is her mother's diary.

One of the first entries mentions her mother's favorite book, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Erin can barely contain her excitement. Harper Lee's famous novel is also her all-time fav
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Diane
May 11, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it
The year is 1986 and Erin is about to turn 16. Erin never really knew her mom. She died when Erin was very young. Growing up in a house with a father and two older brothers, she has a lot of questions. But no one wants to talk about her mom. The only thing she really knows is that she was a big fan of Harper Lee and her book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Erin feels connected to her Mom when she reads her handwritten comments in the margin of the book. Then, one day out of the blue, Erin's dad gives he ...more
Debbie
Jun 04, 2011 Debbie rated it really liked it
Unlike many who've written reviews of this book, I thought it was very well written and had an interesting plot. "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Harper Lee play an important role in this short novel, but the bigger story is the journey this courageous young girl goes on to find a connection between herself and the mom she never knew. She meets some people along the way who are also in need of courage. This book is a subtle reminder that no one is an island...not even the reclusive Harper Lee.
Megan
Jan 12, 2009 Megan rated it liked it
I just read this for the book club at my middle school. The author is from Lakeville, a neighboring suburb, and is coming to our book club meeting at the end of the month. This was a quick read about a girl searching for clues about her deceased mother in the pages of an old copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. She hops a bus and tries to find Harper Lee, hoping she'll learn about her mother and herself before her dad remarries.
Dawn
Feb 08, 2009 Dawn rated it really liked it
A great book for middle school age kids. We did it for book club at school, gr 6-8, and most of them hadn't read To Kill A Mockingbird. We decided to show the movie one day after school thinking it would be helpful for some background when they read this book. It worked out well. Loretta came to our book club and the kids really enjoyed having her there, and they asked great questions, and made lots of comments.
Carolyn
Aug 04, 2010 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-lit
Thoughtful book about a 16-year-old girl trying to connect with her mother who died shortly after she was born. Both have a love for Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, so Erin sets out on a cross-country bus trip to meet Harper Lee and in the process, learn more about her mom. In the end, she learns just as much about her dad and her family and the kindness of others as she does about her mom.
Kate
Jul 11, 2010 Kate rated it it was ok
I read this a few years ago and remember not being very impressed. It follows a girl who is utterly obsessed with the book "To Kill a Mockingbird," and runs away to Alabama to try and track down the recluse author Harper Lee. Throughout she compares her father with Atticus, but in the end realized she loves her dad even though he isn't as perfect as Atticus.
Krisanne Stewart
Sep 07, 2009 Krisanne Stewart rated it liked it
I couldn't get into this book. I thought the main character was a bit reckless, and I kept imagining bad things happening to her on her bus trek. Her mother has died, and she is in search of Harper Lee, her dead mother's favorite author. Perhaps I didn't pay enough attention to the plot, or the metaphors, or the symbolism. I just didn't get this book.
Brenda Morris
A fun story about a girl who impulsively travels to Monroeville, AL, to meet Harper Lee in an effort to better understand her mother who was a big fan of TKAM. I enjoyed the 1980s setting (nostalgia, I know) but also the connections the main character makes along the way and the way she finally realizes what is important in her life.
Tortla
May 27, 2013 Tortla rated it it was ok
Recommended to Tortla by: Shannon
This girl's fellow bus passengers are unrealistically friendly. And her obsession with TKAM flattens out her character to a maddening degree. (Which is unfortunate, since TKAM is a quality piece of literature.)
Amy
Jan 26, 2014 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I listened to the audio version.

I liked the plot, and loved the characters...it only has three stars because I felt the writing lacked a bit of polish. Sometimes there was a lot of telling, rather than showing. I don't need to "see" the scene in detail, and I don't care what the characters look like other than a general description. I just want to know who they are, and what is going to happen next...and there was plenty to wonder about as the story progressed. It was a very believable plot, an
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Gabi
Mar 15, 2011 Gabi rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to run away and has eff of it
Recommended to Gabi by: the libary
Loretta Ellsworth’s The Book In Search of Mockingbird made my heart speed fast and get slow at some times. This book is told from a girl’s point of view. When this 16 year old girl wants to fulfill her adventure to meet her favorite author, she has her ups and downs, but in the ends succeeds. This book is exhilarating and makes me want to go for all the big dreams I have in life.
The book does have life lessons. The girl Erin wants to meet this author harper lee, her mom’s favorite author. she
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jmjester
Jul 13, 2012 jmjester rated it it was amazing
I just read Mockingbird by Kathryn Esquire tonight and though I was reluctant to read it at first, I loved it. For those of you who haven't been paying attention, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is my all-time favorite book. Another new favorite of mine is In Search of Mockingbird by Loretta Ellsworth. The first and last make many references to the original novel. We'll read Lee's work later this school year. And while we'll certainly discuss theme and characterization and all of that good st ...more
April
Jun 16, 2011 April rated it really liked it
Took me just a few hours to read the entire book, which is a sweet story about a girl trying to feel close to the mother she never knew. The day before her 16th birthday, Erin's father announces his engagement to a woman he's been dating. To soften the blow, he hands over Erin's mother's diary from when she was 16. This only serves to upset her more since her father never talks about his late wife and all Erin has had is her mother's beloved and well-read copy of "To Kill a Mockingbird."

When she
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Topeka & Shawnee ...: In Search of Mockingbird Review 4 12 Jan 04, 2015 01:52PM  
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Loretta received her BA from the University of Northern Iowa, and an MFA from Hamline University in writing for children and young adults. A former middle and high school teacher, she's the author of four young adult novels, The Shrouding Woman, In Search of Mockingbird,In a Heartbeat, and Unforgettable. Her WWII historical novel, And Then We Danced, will be published in 2017. She has four childre ...more
More about Loretta Ellsworth...

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