Finished Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“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 Dad is no help at all. 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, she realizes that is what she needs. In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white—the world is full of colors—messy and beautiful.Kathryn Erskine has written a must-read gem, one of the most moving novels of the year.

I’ve heard so many great things about this book, but for some reason, I’d never picked it up.  This is a common thread in my life, one I’m trying to fix.  (I know that nobody gets to read everything but I still try.)

Anyway, Caitlin is the kind of character that sticks with you.  She’s got Asperger’s syndrome, so she takes everything very literally.  When her older brother Devon (who is basically the world’s best brother) is killed in a school shooting, she doesn’t really understand.  I mean, she gets that he’s dead and that she won’t see him again.  But she doesn’t really understand the depth of her feelings or how to make herself feel better.  (And then she learns about the idea of closure and decides that that’s what she needs…except how do you GET closure?)

I very much enjoyed seeing Caitlin grow as a person.  She starts the novel barely able to relate to other people, but by the end, she’s made some friends and has managed to figure out how to make herself and other people feel better.  She’s the kind of person I won’t soon forget.

This is a sweet, charming, heartbreaking, excellent middlegrade novel.  I’m glad that I finally took the time to read it, but I wish I had done it much earlier.



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