Danielle Kern's Reviews > Mockingbird

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
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Nov 29, 11

bookshelves: ya-lit-2011
Read in November, 2011

Erskine, Kathryn. Mockingbird. Scholastic Inc.: New York, New York 2010. 232 pp. ISBN: 978-0-545-30-725-3.

Genre: Young Adult, Fiction.
Rating: ****: I have worked with children who have Asperger’s Syndrome and always wondered what it would be like to live a day being them. This beautiful book does a fabulous job of putting the reader into the head of a young girl who has Asperger’s Syndrome. I truly believe that any teacher that works with students with Aspergers should read this book.

Summary: Living as an eleven year old girl with Asperger’s Syndrome has always been black and white for Caitlin. It was her brother Devin who always helped her to see life in color. Killed in a devastating school shooting, Devin is no longer around to help Caitlin understand people. Never having a mother, it is now only Caitlin and her devastated father to figure out how to go on living. Together, with help from a wonderful councilor, Caitlin and her father find closure.

Main Characters:
Caitlin: Typical of most individuals who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, Caitlin doesn’t understand emotions. She lacks the ability to interact with her classmates in her school. Although she would prefer to be by herself, she knows that she must learn how to empathize with people; fortunately she has a wonderful teacher to help her with that. Caitlin even makes a friend. Michael is several years younger, but he is also searching for closure. Michael’s mother was killed along with Devin in the school shooting.
Key Issues: Living with Asperger’s Syndrome, Death, Closure, Adapting, and Relationships.

Other interesting information: The author wrote this book for two main reasons: first to honor victims of the Virginia Tech, and to educate people about Asperger’s Syndrome. Although Kathryn Erskine didn’t know any of the thirty-three people who were killed at Virginia Tech, it happened very close to her home. She believes that if people take a little time to understand one another, like people with Asperger’s Syndrome, perhaps the country could avoid another Virginia Tech.
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