After her brother died in a school shooting, on ‘The Day Our Life Fell Apart’, everything changes for her. She would always turn to her older brother Devon to explain things and situations for her, but Devon dies in a tragedy that rocks their entire community. It is an insightful look into the workings of the brain of someone with Asperger’s. Caitlin also tends to suck on her sleeve for comfort. This was such a heartwarming and moving novel that works for readers of any age. Her transformation is what eventually draws her father out of the prison of his own suffering and helps to make a foundation for their healing. What's great about books is that the stuff inside doesn't change. H�\�͊�0��y�9�A��1JA�B�ú� 5���m�z��o�#.l ͗d&|�$*�ce��w���д�x���W��V$)�V�����]�D�/�0bW٦y�G�F?�bo�+.E�� ���`�U^�]���`�v��6᠗ڽ�B4��*��qZ������!��. It could have done with more color.". In the story of Caitlin Smith, the answer is "a lot." This book was written after the Virginia Tech school shootings, which is of course a very emotive subject. Mockingbird is a revealing story that allows one to look inside the mind of a child with, Although high functioning and bright, she was reading at an eighth grade level in kindergarten, she is sensitive to tags and patterns on clothing and cannot bear to touch anything “squishy or flabby” because it makes her feel sick. She didn't say much about it other than that it was a pretty easy read and that the main character has Aspberger's Syndrome. Due to Caitlin's condition, she finds it difficult to cope with her feelings about what has happened. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is a thought-provoking fiction novel about a young girl with autism who is trying to find her place in this world while also dealing with the after-effects of the death of her older brother. She is awkward and pedantic, seeing things in black and white, and referring to her deceased brother as "Devon who is dead" when talking to her father. 0000021315 00000 n Mockingbird (Kathryn Erskine) I picked up the book "Mockingbird" by Kathryn Erskine as I was browsing the books at the local library. Erskine handled the … What;s at issue in both books is the need for empathy, for understanding. Hopefully, the cruel and insensitive way some other students (and even teachers) treat Caitlin will make readers cringe and develop more empathy for disabled people in the real world. 9 years ago. In Caitlin’s world, everything is black or white. Favorite Answer - how the psychological concept of "closure" helps people get through grief - how school violence can affect entire communities I read. Caitlin works hard to deal with the tragic, sudden death of her beloved brother and her father's resulting devastation. Caitlin is encouraged to look at the person who is speaking to her, to recognize her own feelings and how her behavior affects others. What complicates the process is Caitlin's Asperger's. I'm somewhere in between. I WOULD DEFINETLY RECOMMEND IT!!! Caitlin's behaviors are perceived as "weird." Mockingbird. ", Children's librarians read quite a few books for kids and the result is that we tend to want to discuss them with one another. I love how the intersection of other characters such as first-grader Michael and class bully Josh are deftly tied together -- the ending is a stunner to pull off and had not one note of triteness or seemed forced in any way. 0000006609 00000 n I Work At It ALL the time. When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs. %%EOF Erskine handled the portrayal of the aftermath of this well. We see both Caitlin and Michael’s dads struggling to deal with the loss of family members, and consequently struggling to know how to behave around the family members that they have left. Eventually, Caitlin, Michael, and Josh become friends, more or less. Unlucky librarians are surrounded solely by people who agree with their opinions. Mockingbird is a novel by Kathryn Erskine about personal and emotional recovery following a school shooting. This book is for young readers. But otherwise, I thought this was heavy-handed (the author's note is a sad muddle which kind of explains this) and very one-note. (Fiction. There is a whole other set of skills that most of us pick up naturally, not really having to consciously learn or practice them--the skill of recognizing when someone is angry, the skill of seeing that a friend is sad and offering them comfort. After the reception, Josh, Michael, and Michael's dad play football, and the novel concludes with Caitlin creating her first colored picture, having previously only drawn in black and white. With the help of a wise school counselor she also makes progress towards learning how to interact and socialize more appropriately with kids at school and other adults. You're much luckier if you happen to have a group of close folks around you who can offer alternate takes on the books you read and critique. " Simon Mason of The Guardian thought that the author's "evocation of 'Asperger thinking' is impressive and sensitively managed, but such narrowing of the focus reinforces the story's programmatic nature" and concluded, "In the end, like Caitlin's drawings, Mockingbird is a neat outline in black and white. 3 Answers. :�p\Z�+�+� U�&! Caitlin discovers the words "empathy" and "closure", and determines that this is what she and her distraught father need. It won the 2010 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Mockingbird is a moving novel by Kathy Erskine in which she tries to send a very important message 'in hopes that we may all understand each other better'. Ostracized by other 5th grade students already (because of her autism), Caitlin's role as the sister of a middle school boy killed in a school shooting only serves to make others more uncomfortable around her.
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