MOCKINGBIRD- KATHRYN ERSKINE

OK, so it's day #417 of the move (or maybe it's day #4 but it feels like day #417). And so, I assumed one of my all time most useful life mottos-- when the going gets tough, the tough find a bookstore and get reading. And that's exactly what I did today-- the boys had football at 4, I dropped them off and went and discovered-- MOCKINGBIRD. A TREASURE. Maybe the best novel I've read this year.

Caitlin, a fifth grader who has Asperger's, sees the world a little differently than most of her peers. Her mother is dead and Caitlin has always relied on her older brother Devon to help her make sense of life, but then Devon is killed in a shooting at his middle school. And Caitlin must help her grief-stricken father to "bring closure" to the loss.

I loved, loved, loved this book. Erskine does an amazing job capturing the voice and thinking of an Asperger's child (I kept thinking of Cynthia Lord's RULES, another book I really loved). Next, it's chock full of references to one of my all time favorite novels, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Devon and Caitlin love the movie and have spent many hours watching it over and over again-- Devon even calls his little sister Scout. And I know the book would evoke some great discussions about compassion and kindness and respecting other people's differences.

OK, no more blogging, I gotta go pack a box or ten…