Nerdy Book Club

mockingbirdNo one speaks of the chest in the corner, covered with a gray sheet and one end hanging off at an awkward angle. The gray sheet reminds Caitlin of a bird that cannot fly, floating and falling instead of flying through the air. Caitlin draws the chest covered with the sheet, replicating what she sees on the outside but not the empty chest she knows is hidden out of sight. This metaphor sets the tone for Mockingbird, a story of pain, loss, understanding, and hope. The novel centers on ten year old Caitlin, a high-functioning autistic girl with Asperger’s, and the loss of her brother in a tragic school shooting. The grieving experience as well as the path for healing is different for all of the characters, particularly Caitlin and her father. Erskine explores the avenues of grief and healing, particularly the difficult situation for Caitlin, with a sensitivity…

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