BOOK NAME: Mockingbird
AUTHOR: Kathryn Erskine
When Caitlin Smith, a 10 year old girl who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, experiences the tragedy of her brother Devon being murdered in a middle school shooting, she is desperate to find closure. Yet as she looks for closure, she realizes that this is not something simple to grasp. Her father, a widower, is still in terrible depression and grief over the loss of his son. Although Mrs. Brook, the school counselor, has sessions with Caitlin and tries to help her through this tough time, Caitlin still feels like no one understands her.
Before his tragic death, Devon was an eagle scout. He was working on making a chest as part of this position. The chest remains unfinished in the living room of the Smith home, and Caitlin’s father even puts a sheet over it. Caitlin tries to convince her father to finish the chest, yet he is still not ready.
In school, Caitlin has trouble with friends. No one wants to befriend her because of her syndrome and because they do not want to create an awkward situation after the loss of her brother. Caitlin doesn’t think she will ever find a friend, until she meets Michael, the son of the principal of Devon’s middle school, who had also been killed in the shooting. Could Michael be her first friend?
Throughout the book, Caitlin tries to deal with the troubles of her life. She works hard to adapt to life without her brother. Towards the end, Caitlin begins to understand what finding closure is all about.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a little tough, so I would recommend it to anyone ages 10 and up. Caitlin’s story is inspiring. I learned so much from the way she deals with the challenges in her life.