Mockingbird (mok’ing-bûrd)

When Caitlin and her dad are left to deal with the shocking death of her brother, Devon, they grieve in ways foreign to each other. Caitlin’s Asperger’s syndrome makes it difficult to Get It when her dad can’t do the ritual Thursday night pizza in front of the tv anymore. As Caitlin struggles to develop empathy and see past the literal meaning of what people say, she changes from isolated within herself to someone who Works At It and even finds a few friendships in the process.

Both beautifully sad and heart-warming, Kathryn Erskine’s Mockingbird explores the intricate and often difficult relationships among family members, counselors and classmates.  Understanding is a lot of work, but so worth it. Because as Caitlin says, “I want to build something good and strong and beautiful.”

For classroom discussion ideas, see the Six Traits Gurus.  Also, this book is filled with symbolism.  Examine the unfinished chest, Devon’s bedroom door and the heart.



About AnEducationInBooks

Wendy BooydeGraaff is the author of Salad Pie, a children's picture book published by Ripple Grove Press. Her work has been published in Emrys Journal Online, The Emerson Review, Jellyfish Review, Bending Genres, SmokeLong Quarterly and Leopardskin & Limes, and is forthcoming in NOON. Read more work at or find her on Twitter @BooyTweets.
This entry was posted in Children's novels, social issues, strong characters, Voice, Word choice and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Mockingbird (mok’ing-bûrd)

  1. Pingback: mockingbird « From Surviving to Thriving

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