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In Search of Mockingbird

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  681 Ratings  ·  155 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
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published April 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Jan 17, 2009 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
Nov 20, 2008 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
Jun 30, 2010 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.
Audrey Dewey
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such an easy and quick read!!! I wish this book didn't end on a cliffhanger
Aug 21, 2008 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
Becky White
Oct 22, 2007 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
Jan 18, 2010 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
Jan 03, 2010 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
Apr 26, 2008 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
May 22, 2008 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
Hui Lin
Apr 10, 2008 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
Aug 11, 2008 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
Jan 10, 2008 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
Mar 19, 2010 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
Jan 12, 2009 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.
Jun 04, 2011 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.
Feb 08, 2009 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.
Aug 02, 2010 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.
Krisanne Stewart
Sep 07, 2009 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.
Jul 11, 2010 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.
Jan 14, 2009 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.)
Aug 09, 2015 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."
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book In Search of Mockingbird by Loretta Ellsworth, takes you on an adventure with sixteen-year-old Erin as she journeys all the way from Minnesota to Alabama by herself, hoping to find a connection with her mother through Harper Lee, her favorite author. In the book, Erin shares a special connection with her mother, who died when she was born, through the book To Kill a Mockingbird. She is now in search of the author who wrote the book, Harper Lee, to thank her. Along the way, she must esca ...more
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This novel is a coming of age story about a girl who wants to learn more about her mother who passed away when she was only a baby. The teenage girl Erin feels very connected to the novel To Kill a Mockingbird and when she is given her mother's journal by her father, she decides to search for the author of Mockingbird, Harper Lee, in hopes of finding out more about who her mother was as a person and an aspiring writer. She runs away from home and sets out on a journey that takes her to interesti ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, tween
This was a quick read, which was nice because the pacing of the book was fast, too. Erin is a teenager wants to go to Alabama to meet Harper Lee, because her mother wrote to the author when she was a teenager. Erin wants to be an author too, and she thinks Harper Lee has all the advice she needs to succeed, and to somehow connect with her mother. The story was a bit thin on this one - a girl obsessed with To Kill a Mockingbird and Harper Lee doesn’t (didn’t…) know about Lee’s reclusive lifestyle ...more
Kelsi Flint
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Maybe I was just not in the mood that day I read this, but I just didn't really enjoy this book. There were some good parts, but for the most part, I thought it was a little boring. I thought I would like this book because I love To Kill a Mockingbird, but it didn't really have that much to do with the book except that the main girl and her mom really like it too and she's trying to meet the author. It's just your average coming-of-age novel
Judine Brey
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I like the concept of searching for someone through the things she loved, as Erin did with her mother. That said, Erin's path, while interesting, is downright dangerous. This book should come with a "don't try this at home" warning label.
Allison Hackenmiller
I enjoyed this little book and am probably 3.5 stars on it. I'm just not sure teens would like it. They don't really go for literary references, or odd time periods.
Mar 14, 2011 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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Topeka & Shawnee ...: In Search of Mockingbird Review 4 13 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, Stars Over Clear Lake, will be published in 2017. She has four chil ...more
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