April 15th 2010 by Philomel
Hardcover, 224 pages
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. When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs. In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white—the world is full of colors—messy and beautiful. ..................(Goodreads)
In this short but tender hearted novel, a community is devastated by a school shooting and a sister is lost without the big brother who once loved her. Told through a unique voice, Mockingbird was an insightful look into the life of a person struggling with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Devon was always the one who told Caitlin could rely on, the one who would tell her the right things to say and how to dress. Since Devon was shoot, so much grief lives in their home now. Caitlin doesn’t know how to express her grief, while her father can’t contain his. Through the help of a public school counselor and a few special friends Caitlin begins to make connections to her grief and is able to find hope in the loss. As Caitlin struggles to understand the emotions of her father and the children at school she tries so hard to be more normal.
I can’t describe how much I loved Caitlin; how she brought tears to my eyes, frustrated me and made me want to comfort her. Not knowing a lot about Asperger’s Syndrome, I felt Ms. Erskine did a supreme job of showing me the inner and daily struggles a person with this disorder deals with communicating with other people. I felt the frustration because as the reader looking in, I knew what Caitlin was trying to express, but when her words and emotions came out, everything went wrong. I felt bad for her because she was misunderstood but yet at the same time, I felt bad for the other characters due to Caitlin’s actions that came across hurtful. Most people see disturbing behavior or individuals with mental disorders and immediately feel uncomfortable or don’t know how to act around that person. Many in their ignorance will mock or criticize without knowing the damage they could be causing. So much potential these children have to give, even with Asperger's and Autism, if only we would take our blinders off and try to understand them. I thank all you out there who work in the public schools and help children with learning disabilities and strive to make their education important.
A beautiful, heartwarming story of pain, grief and ultimately healing........recommended to all readers!!
Mockingbird is suitable for all ages, but specifically geared towards the 11-14 age group, content touched on include grief, depression, anger, handling special needs children, school shooting, mild violence, mild gore and snarky attitudes. Recommended to all teens and adults alike.
3.5/5- YA (Middle-Grade) Death-Asperger Syndrome
Copy provided by Around the World Tours