Oct 02, 12
I think Mockingbird does a great job of highlighting the difficulties of dealing with Asperger's Syndrome. Some of the other reviews I read of this book have said Caitlin's voice did not sound authentic, but I think that's kind of a hard thing to judge. What autism looks like in one person can be very different from what it looks like in someone else. And while this book may not be completely accurate in portraying the thinking of someone with Asperger's, I think it does an excellent job of showing the disconnect that can often occur between what the person is thinking or feeling and their ability to communicate this information to others, which in turn makes it difficult for others to relate to and connect with them.
However, I did feel that at times the book tried to take on too many topics at once. It's a book about dealing with Asperger's, it's a book about dealing with a school shooting, and it's a book about dealing with a family member's death. The school shooting aspect sometimes felt a little forced to me and didn't always feel like it fit too well within the larger storyline. I think a book about how someone with Asperger's comes to grips with a close family member's untimely death would be a great story, but throwing the school shooting in there was a bit too much. I think school shootings are a delicate subject and require a lot of attention within a storyline, but I didn't feel Mockingbird was necessarily able to give that attention since so much of the book had to be focused on Caitlin's disability and how she learned to come to terms with her brother's death. And while I found the way she and her dad were finally able to find closure believable, it seemed a bit of a stretch to have that closure extend to the entire community.