Mockingbird

Mockingbird

In a nutshell:  A girl on the autism spectrum reaches out past her own family's tragedy to help others as she helps herself.

 

In Caitlin’s world, everything is black or white.  Things are good or bad.  Anything in between is confusing.  That’s the stuff Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, has always explained.  But now Devon’s dead, and her father cries a lot.  Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s, she doesn’t know how.  When she reads the definition of “closure” in the dictionary, she realizes that is what she and her father need.  In her search for Closure, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white--the world is full of colors--messy and beautiful, and it is through this discovery that she embarks on a road which leads her to find both healing and closure.

Mockingbird won the 2010 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

Discussion Guide

Indiebound Amazon bn

Reviews:

"As readers celebrate this milestone with Caitlin, they realize that they too have been developing empathy by walking a while in her shoes, experiencing the distinctive way that she sees and interacts with the world. "

Kirkus, Starred Review

"...this novel is not about violence as much as about the ways in which a wounded community heals."

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"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

Fun Facts About Mockingbird

Mockingbird -- or Passarinha in Brazilian Portuguese -- is being made into a play in Brazil!  I'll actually be there in a couple of months but will miss the production, scheduled for September 2016.  I'm thrilled and honored, though.  Thank you, Sao Paulo!

Lovely book vlog of Mockingbird, Big Nate, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7toPjn8cU4&feature=share

With the resurgence of interest in To Kill a Mockingbird due to Go Set a Watchman, here's a fun article calling Mockingbird and a few other middle grade books "offspring" of the original Harper Lee novel.

https://kinderlitcanada.wordpress.com/portfolio/mockingbird-offspring/

Thanks to Julie Jensen, playwright, and Tracy Callahan, director, Mockingbird was a powerful play at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  It has been performed at a couple of other theaters, too, and I hope the show goes on (and on)!  

The reviews were fantastic -- here's a sampling:

Mockingbird offers a finely nuanced look at grief, love, and autism with a hearty dose of laughter mixed with the tears. This five star world premiere from the Kennedy Center and VSA, is not to be missed.  --DC Metro Theater Arts

Mockingbird provides an entertaining jolt of theater for kids and parents alike, as well as accessible jumping off point for families to explore tough topics like bullying, mental disorders, and loss.  --DC Theatre Scene

Most importantly, this is a simple story told beautifully in a way that both adults and their kids can appreciate.  --Broadway World

And here's a link to a very useful, insightful guide to Mockingbird and autism produced by the Kennedy Center.  Thanks to all!