Monday, 13 August 2012
Author: Kathryn Erskine
Publication Date: January 10th, 2012
Genre: Junior Fiction, Contemporary
Caitlin used to depend on her brother Devon to tell her how to act and what was normal, but now that he’s dead she feels lost. Life is usually difficult for Caitlin, since she has Asperger’s. After the loss of her brother, life is even more hard and confusing than ever. Caitlin’s dad isn’t coping and everyone at school is affected by the loss of Caitlin’s brother. There are so many things that Caitlin doesn’t understand, from making friends to understanding what people are feeling. What Caitlin wants most is Devon back, but she’ll settle for finding closure. As an avid user of the dictionary, Caitlin knows exactly what closure is. However, she has no idea how to find it and no one else seems to know. Caitlin is excellent at drawing, but she prefers to draw in black and white, since it’s easier. However, as she struggles with moving on she realizes that colour is an important part of life and that it makes things complete.
This simplistic story about coping with grief was well written and moving. The writing style was unique and I honestly believed that the story was being told by a ten year old with Asperger’s. Caitlin was a very realistic and likeable. She was a great character, and I found all the characters to be well written. It was surprising how I could relate to Caitlin’s struggles, even if we are completely different. I think most young people have problems with empathy, although not on the same scale as Caitlin. I liked how we got to see how her mind worked and how often she was misunderstood. The plot was simple but worked well, since it was well paced and never boring. I would recommend this book to be read in book clubs for younger readers. There was a lot to discuss and I think it had important messages, especially about grief and people who are different. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to young girls. One of the greatest things about books is being able to look at the world through someone else’s eyes, and never is that more true than in Mockingbird.
“Books are not like people. Books are safe.”