Save the date, book lovers! Fairfield University professor Emily Smith, Ph.D., and two of her undergraduate students will lead a free community book discussion of Kathryn Erskine’s Mockingbird, the 2010 National Book Award winner, Young People’s Literature, at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, December 8, at the Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road.
All are welcome to come share their opinions of this instant classic about a young girl who sees the world differently and teaches readers something profound about understanding others.
Voted a 2011 Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association, Mockingbird is told from inside the head of Caitlin, a gifted 11-year-old artist with Asperger’s syndrome. The story centers on the aftermath of a middle school shooting that took the life of Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, who had always helped her interpret the world. Caitlin’s father, a widower who is grieving anew, has a limited ability to relate to his daughter, but she eventually learns to heal.
“The longer readers spend in the child’s world, the more understandable her entirely literal and dispassionate interpretations are,” wrote Faith Brautigam, who reviewed Mockingbird for School Library Journal. “After getting to know Caitlin, young people’s tendencies to label those around them as either ‘normal’ or ‘weird’ will seem as simplistic and inadequate a system as it truly is.”
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