My book review of 'Mockingbird' by Kathryn Erskine

Mockingbird

by Kathryn Erskine
Recommended age: 12+
Mockingbird
by Kathryn Erskine

In merely summing up the content of this book, I am unlikely to convince you to read it, and even less recommend it to a young person: 

eleven-year-old Caitlin has Asperger's syndrome and is struggling to come to terms with the death of her older brother who was killed in a school shooting, and she lives with her father because her mother has died from cancer.

Apparently overloaded with 'issues', there seems little to delight in with this book, but from the first page I was gripped, wooed and won over to a startling degree.

The writing is deceptively simple, told from Caitlin's naive, but nevertheless insightful, perspective. The tragedy is understated and humour is sensitively but vividly introduced. The characterisation is rich, convincing and powerful. And, in addition, the elements of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' incorporated into the story will fascinate and encourage new readers to take up the Harper Lee classic.

This is a wonderful book to read alone but, with so much to enjoy, it also makes an excellent title for book groups.

Review date: January 2012