C.G. Drews's Reviews > Mockingbird

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
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it was ok
bookshelves: middle-grade, contemporary, read-2015, autism

Ugh, I did not have a good time with this book at all. I read it because it's about a girl with Aspergers who go undiagnosed a lot due to stigmas promoting that boys are more likely to have it. (They aren't. Girls are more likely to go undiagnosed due to being able to blend in and imitate their peers better.)

ASD is a broad spectrum, but this didn't feel like a very accurate portrayal. The protagonist possibly had other learning disabilities? Because her thought process wasn't typically ASD at all. And most of the people in my life are on the Autism spectrum and NONE of them are similar to Caitlin at all. But like I said: spectrum. But there comes a time when a book feels like it's being writen from how a neurotypical views ASD, not from what it is actually like to have ASD.

Caitlin also lacked huge ASD pointers, like having an obsessive interest (she liked drawing but wasn't obsessive about it) and she had no need for routines and no emphasis on anxiety. Also the biggest insult is saying that people with ASD are not emphatic. This is so untrue it breaks my heart. Oftentimes it's hard to show your empathy or it's shown in different ways, but the whole book was about Caitlin learning to care about people and it's just...it's a stigma and it needs to stop. The felt like an NT going "omg it must be so hard/bad to be ASD" and it was very ableist.

But that saying, the author's daughter has AS. So....yeah. I had issues with its portrayal, but maybe that's just me.

Obviously there are many perspectives and experiences. If you liked this book, then fine. But don't hate on me for my opinions and experiences.

NOTE: This review has been edited to more accurately summarise my thoughts and feelings at a later date.

(Also it's super hard to read a book when the character has my name. WEIRDNESS ENSUES.)
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Reading Progress

July 7, 2015 – Shelved
July 7, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
July 16, 2015 – Started Reading
July 16, 2015 –
page 130
58.3% "Errrrrrr...Aspergers doesn't mean you're mentally slow. Actually, it means you're really SMART. *glares at book*"
July 16, 2015 – Shelved as: middle-grade
July 16, 2015 – Shelved as: contemporary
July 16, 2015 – Shelved as: read-2015
July 16, 2015 – Finished Reading
August 7, 2015 – Shelved as: autism

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Valerie McEnroe I agree 100% with your review. It did not feel authentic based on my personal experience with an Aspergers child.

Katelyn Saul Actually, I really liked this book.Its one of my favorites really. Of course everyone has an opinion of their own, and you really expressed yours, which is great.But I do encourage people to read this book.

Mandi I think your mistaken it was written like a 5th grader with Aspergers. have you read many story's written by a 5th grader ? it's pretty much right on.

Queen Elizabeth of Gondor As a person WITH Asperger's Syndrome, I can say this book actually was very accurate. Not everyone with ASD has a special "skill", and as for the routine thing, not everyone with autism is the same about that.

Kathryn You don't have to have a "skill" to have aspergers. you mention you've done a lot of research but fail to realise the reason girls are less likely to get diagnosed is because they don't usually present in the typically expected way and because they don't always tick every box or their obsessions seem more "normal" in comparison to what is typically seen in boys. I've only started reading this morning but there are parts that already feel familiar to me.

Lois Honestly, you captured how I thought about this book perfectly.

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