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StorySnoops Children's Book Reviews | Mockingbird | Kathryn Erskine
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by Kathryn Erskine
LEXILE READING LEVEL: 630L {what is this?}
NO. PAGES: 235
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction, Literary Fiction
ALA-ALSC Childrens Notable Book
Golden Kite Award or Honor Book
National Book Award
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
ISBN: 0399252649
READ & REVIEWED BY: Eden - StorySnoop

The Story
Mockingbird—Book Review

Ten-year-old Caitlin sees her world in black and white. Having Asperger's Syndrome, she finds colors, emotions, and school recess confusing and chaotic, and prefers to deal in facts, by herself. But Caitlin has a lot to work through. Her older brother Devon was the victim of a shooting at his middle school and she is trying to understand her grief and find closure (a word she only knows the dictionary definition of). Devon was the member of her family who best understood her and was able to help navigate her world. With the help of a compassionate school counselor, Caitlin embarks on a journey to find closure not only for herself, but for her community as well. And she might even make a friend or two along the way.
The Scoop
Mockingbird—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

Author Kathryn Erskine wrote this book in response to the shootings on the Virginia Tech campus, in an effort to explore how the world might be different if people understood each other better. This story about empathy is told from Caitlin's point of view, and will hopefully be a mind-opening read for kids who may know of a child with Asperger's Syndrome. Caitlin functions well academically, but because she cannot interpret emotions in other people, has trouble making friends or interacting socially. She sets her sights on achieving closure after the death of her brother, even though she doesn't have a good sense of what it means. In her simple understanding, she interprets it as seeing her dad smile again. The school shooting is the most upsetting aspect of this book, though it occurred before the story begins. It is referred to several times, but not described. There are many references to the classic book To Kill a Mockingbird, which readers will likely be curious about after reading Mockingbird. This book is best for the more emotionally mature readers in the publisher's recommended range of ten and up.
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