Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mockingbird (MG review)

Jacket description: (from ARC)

"In Caitlin’s world, everything is black or white. Things are good or bad. Anything in between is confusing. That’s the stuff Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, has always explained. But now Devon’s dead and Dad is no help at all. Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s, she doesn’t know how.

She turns to textbooks and dictionaries, easy for Caitlin because they're full of facts in black and white. After reading the definition of the word Closure, Caitlin knows this is just what she and her father need. And she is determined to find it. In her search, she discovers that not everything is really black and white-the world is full of colors, messy and beautiful. And perhaps is she " Works At It," Caitlin and her father can have Closure and Empathy, too."

Caitin is going to be a character that you'll remember for a long, long time after finishing this book. Author Kathryn Erskine has given us the gift of understanding, even if that understanding is only a glimpse into the world of a child with Asperger's. When you read this (or your child reads this), you'll instantly want to run and talk to someone about it, making it a nice choice for a family discussion book or a classroom conversation starter.

My love for this little girl and her literal manner of thinking and speaking just grew and grew and I got further into the story. Her intense love for her father was very apparent, if not to Caitlin herself, to the readers. She wants nothing more than for her family to become fixed again, even if she can't put it into the words a typical person would use. Searching for Closure, she also learns quite a bit about the world and about how people interact with each other.

This is a book that you should definitely go out and get, if not for yourself, for the middle grade reader in your life. It will really open eyes and allow the reader to get a peek into the world of someone with Asperger's. We can never fully understand, but Erskine did such an amazing job at channeling the personality traits and learning challenges of someone like Caitlin that we can at least take away some additional knowledge.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5
Very impressive!

Kathryn Erskine
235 pages
Middle Grade
April 2010
Review copy received from publisher

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Sarah said...

I absolutely loved this story from beginning to end. Like you said, Caitlin is going to stick with you.

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

Well I will be looking for this book now! I'm so glad to see more books about things like autism. It's a great way for middle schoolers to learn about people they might be going to school with. I've read my students Rules before. They really learned a lot from it.

kathyerskine said...

Thanks, Amanda, for that lovely review. I'm so glad you happened to be strolling by Hooray for Books yesterday - it was great to meet you!

Amanda said...

It was great to meet you too Kathy! Talk about being in the right place at the right time!