Book Review: Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Title: Mockingbird (GoodReads)
Author: Kathryn Erskine
Page Count: 232
Genre: Contemporary MG
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. Kathryn Erskine has written a must-read gem, one of the most moving novels of the year.
This is one of the books that the sixth graders I was working with last semester were reading. I had never read a book about someone with Asperger’s before, so I was really intrigued. When I learned I had to read 24 books for my YA literature class, I hurried to pick up this one (even though it’s technically MG, not YA). I read this book in one sitting, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The book is told from Caitlin’s POV. I don’t have Asperger’s, nor do I know anyone who has Asperger’s, so I can’t say for sure that this book was completely accurate, but it certainly seemed like it was. Caitlin’s thoughts and actions didn’t always make sense to those around her, but Erskine does a great job at getting inside Caitlin’s head and making her “strange” actions make perfect sense.
I can’t really think of anything that I didn’t like about this book. I would have liked to know a bit more about the other characters in the book, but since it was told from Caitlin’s point of view, we wouldn’t really get those details. I did appreciate, though, that Erskine was able to make the other people’s emotions clear to the readers, even if they didn’t always make sense to Caitlin.
This book does a great job of getting inside Caitlin’s head and allowing readers to understand the reactions of someone who isn’t always easy to understand. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to put themselves in someone else’s shoes – a concept Caitlin struggles to understand.