The premise: Ten-year-old Caitlin struggles understanding the world. Her older brother Devon used to fill in the voids for her, but now Devon is dead--although Caitlin doesn't really Get It. But she wants to Get It. When she reads the definition of Closure in the dictionary, she knows Closure is what she needs (and what her dad needs too) in order to Get It. So Caitlin bravely searches for Closure.
What keeps readers reading: Being in Caitlin's mind. Readers experience what the world looks like through Asperger's eyes, and Kathryn Erskine so masterfully places you in this hard place. Devon died in a school shooting, something Caitlin's community is still reeling from. So in Caitlin's search for Closure, she not only helps herself and her dad, but she reaches an entire community. Mockingbird delves into harsh places and sad places but Caitlin's determination--at times heart-breaking--is beautiful. This 2010 National Book Award Winner challenges readers to understand what they think they cannot and then live out that new understanding.
Because this book is so impacting, it is my first of three giveaways for Akoss's Winter 2011 Giveaway Hop. Comment on this post by Friday, November 25, at 10pm to enter a drawing for this marvelous book (U.S. mailing addresses only, please). Even if you own your own copy, enter anyway and pass the gift of Mockingbird on to someone else.
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Happy middle grade reading!