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Guest review: “Mockingbird”

Charlottesville author Kathryn Erskine‘s novel, Mockingbird, has been nominated for a National Book Award in the category of Young People’s Literature. Here’s a review by another local author, Sarah Collins Honenberger:

Mockingbird by Kathryn ErskineKathryn Erskine’s second novel, Mockingbird, catches the emotional highs and lows of Asperger’s Syndrome from a kid’s point of view in the understated way of poetry. Caitlin struggles with her brother’s murder during a school shooting, her father’s grief, and her own frustration with the world as it is, a world distant and complicated even for children who don’t suffer the distinction of being different. “It’s easier when things are black and white,” Caitlin says in her journey to understand the give and take of friendship. As the teachers and other students interact with Caitlin after she loses her older brother as her protector and interpreter, she must decipher their intent and learn acceptable behavior which challenges her more direct view of life. Erskine’s simple story is so much more than a story of one little girl. It’s an insightful and moving discovery of how to live and grow in an imperfect world.

Sarah Collins Honenberger, author of award-winning Waltzing Cowboys and forthcoming novel Catcher, Caught (AE, Dec. 28, 2010)

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