Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
A moving story about an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s syndrome whose older brother dies in a school shooting and the steps she takes to get closure. Kathryn Erskine pulls this poignant tale off wonderfully – it is sad, but sad in a way that gives the reader hope.
Throughout the novel I had to remind myself that Caitlin was eleven as opposed to five or six; this isn’t a bad thing, and in fact it shows Erskine’s talent for character development. To see her grow by learning about empathy and closure by the end of the novel was truly touching – I almost cried, but I finished the book while in journalism class, and crying in public isn’t exactly socially acceptable.
I also loved the To Kill a Mockingbird parallels. It’s one of my favorite books, so seeing the concurrent themes and similar characters in Mockingbird was an additional bonus.
Highly recommended for children, teens, and adults alike – this book is definitely deserving of the National Book Award, and will leave readers aching to understand one another despite their personal problems.