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Kim Tomsic

Saturday, December 18, 2010


MOCKINGBIRD by Kathryn Erskine is about the quest for Closure told  from the voice of ten-year-old Catlin, a girl with Asperger's Syndrome. 

Catlin and her community are forced to deal with a tragedy that is beyond nightmare quality:  a school shooting.  Because the story is told from Catlin's point of view, the tale is is painful and beautiful as well as funny and quirky.  One side of Catlin's Asperger's is that she  is legalistic with words and behaviors.  This adds a delightful element of comic relief to a difficult subject.  For example, every day cliches like "keep your pants on" take on a literal connotation.   Another example of Catlin's need for literal behavior comes after a kid succeeds at bullying and dons an evil "grinny" smile.  Catlin says, "You shouldn't smile when you do something bad because a smile is supposed to mean you're being nice.  I wish people would follow the Facial Expressions Chart like they're supposed to."

I haven't seen the Facial Expressions Chart, but throughout my read of MOCKINGBIRD, I laughed and cried in all the right places.  This is a fantastic story with brilliant writing and voice.  MOCKINGBIRD easily earns a five out of five lollipop rating.

On November 18, 2010, MOCKINGBIRD won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature.  It was published by Philomel (a division of Penguin) in April 2010 and can be purchased for $15.99 at a bookstore near you (Boulder Books or Tattered Cover in Colorado).  For more about the author, Kathryn Erskine, you can visit her bio page.

1 comment:

Leni said...

Great more to read. ;)
Thanks for the review, Kim!

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