Paperback | February 3, 2011

byKathryn Erskine

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Caitlin has Asperger's. The world according to her is black and white; anything in between is confusing. Before, when things got confusing, Caitlin went to her older brother, Devon, for help. But Devon was killed in a school shooting, and Caitlin's dad is so distraught that he is just not helpful. Caitlin wants everything to go back to the way things were, but she doesn't know how to do that. Then she comes across the word closure--and she realizes this is what she needs. And in her search for it, Caitlin discovers that the world may not be so black and white after all.

"Powerful."--Publishers Weekly

"A strong and complex character study."--The Horn Book

"Allusions to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, the portrayal of a whole community's healing process, and the sharp insights into Caitlyn's behavior enhance this fine addition to the recent group of books with narrators with autism and Asbergers."--Booklist

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From the Publisher

THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER and ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT NOVELS OF OUR TIME FOR YOUNG READERSCaitlin has Asperger's. The world according to her is black and white; anything in between is confusing. Before, when things got confusing, Caitlin went to her older brother, Devon, for help. But Devon was killed in a school shooting, and C...

Kathryn Erskine spent many years as a lawyer before realizing that she’d rather write things that people might actually enjoy reading. She grew up mostly overseas and attended eight different schools, her favorite being the Hogwarts-type castle in Scotland. The faculty, of course, did not consist of wizards, although . . . how did the ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.81 × 5.13 × 0.63 inPublished:February 3, 2011Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142417750

ISBN - 13:9780142417751

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book is an inspiering story. Every person from 10 to 90 should read this well written book. This would be a great story for teachers to give to there students. The story tells you to keep trying even if you think hope is losk. From te perspective of a 5th grade girl with asperger syndrome so it takes a brilliant twist. I love this book ao much!
Date published: 2015-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review of Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine Most "normal" people have issues when it comes to finding closure. Now imagine you are a young girl with Asperger's who is trying to find some closure when it comes to the senseless shooting of her older brother. Imagine how hard "closure" must be to find for her. Mockingbird is a short but informative and enlightening story about Caitlin's search for closure after her older brother is killed in a school shooting. Most people treat her like she is a freak, and most assume she has no idea what has actually happened. But she does. She just doesn't know how to show it well to others. She knows her brother is never coming home again. And it's slowly breaking her apart inside. Then one night on the news she hears the word "closure", and just knows she has to find some...but not just for her...for her father as well. Erskine has wonderful flow to her writing and she seems to have a deep insight into the ways an Asperger's child sees the world. It doesn't seem fake or forced at any time. I would even go so far as to say this is a flawless read. This book really opened my eyes up to the way children with Asperger's perceive the world around them. Caitlin is a very literal child, she sees the world in black and white, and she doesn't see the shades or colours in between. If you told her to jump off a cliff she would tilt her head to the side so she could get a better look at you and reply with why would you want me to do that. And she would be completely serious. She has trouble understanding emotion and meets with a helper to try to match images of emotions to what they mean. She has to be taught how to make friends. My son has similar issues which is why I chose this book, and as I mentioned about this book really opened my eyes to how he might see and react to the world around him. I have asked him to read this book as one of his summer read projects so we can talk about it together. I hope we both get something really positive from this experience. This book was one of the ten books I chose for my YA Summer Reading Challenge. I am thankful the list gave me the opportunity to read this as I don't believe I would have picked this up on my own volition.
Date published: 2011-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Asperger's from as Female POV Reason for Reading: I have Asperger's and when I saw a book that featured a female protagonist with Asperger's I was elated and HAD to read the book. I came away from this book very satisfied. As a female with Asperger's I felt that Caitlin was portrayed realistically. There can be wide differences in how males and females present and I think the author managed to bring those out in Caitlin, though the intense plot does put Caitlin in a situation above and beyond normal everyday life. A small town has been devastated. The local junior high was hit by two gun wielding students who managed to kill one teacher and two students before the police shot one perpetrator and apprehended the other. One of the students who was shot is Caitlin's older brother, Devon. Their mother had died many years ago when Caitlin was a baby and Devon had really become her rock. He was a great big brother. He treated her well and knew how to deal with her as a person with Asperger's almost naturally. He'd tell her not to do stuff 'cause it wasn't cool or that people didn't like it when she did this or that and why and his advice helped her. Now Caitlin's world revolves around seeing a councilor daily at school, coping with her father's sudden crying sessions and missing Devon in her own way. People want her to be more emotional and show more empathy (traits those with Asperger's do not always appear to show) and Caitlin finally finds the word "CLOsure" and knows that is what both she and her father need. The plot itself is well done. A small community coping with this horrible violence that has entered its once thought serene boundaries. The author shows the effect not only on the family of those murdered and the staff and students at the school, but staff at other schools, neighbours, and a boy who was the cousin of one of the killers. There is fear, disbelief, and togetherness but no anger as they bond to help the community as one, heal. Very-well done. As to the Asperger's, from the author's note she does not outright say but it seems clear that either she or a loved one has an 'aspie' child and she is writing from experience. Caitlin is well presented as a female with Asperger's. The typical picture the public has of someone with AS is a science, math, computer geek and this is not wrong. These are often very strong interests in males (which doesn't mean some females will too) but typically females show their 'geekiness' in words and books. They are writers, bookworms, grammar police, etc. Caitlin here is an excellent student with great writing skills and a fascination with the dictionary, who keeps lists of words with the accentuated part in caps. Typical female AS behaviour. Caitlin has some meltdowns, fortunately the author doesn't over do them, as has been done in other books I've read. Girls are less likely to have seriously noticeable meltdowns and hyperactivity making the typical age of diagnoses around 16 rather 8 as in boys. Caitlin's two least favourite subjects at school are recess and PE. This really endeared her to me as those were my most hated subjects as well. There is this anxiety feeling you get in the pit of your stomach as an aspie and Caitlin associates this with recess so whenever she gets this feeling she will say she is feeling recessy or has the recess feeling. This beautifully describes an everyday symptom of Asperger's. The main aspect the author emphasizes here though is the AS person's lack of ability to show emotion or empathy. I think Erskine does manage to show that while we do not show emotion it does not mean we do not feel emotion. Two very different points to keep in mind. Empathy is something that Caitlin herself struggles with and tries to understand and the whole book is a process for her in finding out how to show she has this to others and to understand herself, that she does. While many Asperger's people may lack emotion or empathy, I think the majority of us agree that we lack the ability to SHOW it, rather than that we do not feel the emotions or know how to feel them. I would also like to add my own bit of advice: Never *force* an Asperger's person to look you in the eye, it is akin to torture. Anyway, I felt a lot of sympatico with Caitlin and the author in her ability to show a positive female character with Asperger's. My only negative is that *I* personally do not agree with the the medical methods being used to treat Caitlin.
Date published: 2010-05-26

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Editorial Reviews

"A valuable book." -School Library Journal

"A strong and complex character study." -The Horn Book