Mockingbird Kathryn Erskine
Caitlin's brother was murdered during a school shooting. Caitlin's father has been a wreck ever since. Caitlin misses Devon so much. Devon was the one who explained the world to her, who helped her be normal. When Caitlin hears the word "closure" and looks it up in the dictionary, she decides that's what she and her father need and is off to find it, even if her father isn't entirely ready yet.
In what is already an emotionally powerful story about grief and survival, the extra layer added on is the fact that Caitlin is on the autism spectrum. While she understands what happened, she has a harder time understanding how others are feeling about the tragedy-- both family members (like her father) other survivors, and general community members. She also has a harder time expressing her feelings, so some of the adults in her life don't understand that she understands that Devon's gone and they don't understand how she's processing her grief.
It's beautifully written and I really like that although Caitlin's place on the autism spectrum is a large part of the novel, it's not the central focus. This is a book about a family trying to heal in the face of unspeakable tragedy with an added layer of how Caitlin's mind works. Extremely well done in all aspects, I've hear it mentioned for Newbery and while I'm still rooting for One Crazy Summer, I would love to see this one on the list (and it's probably a shoo-in for Schneider).
Book Provided by... my local library
Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.