Heart-Warming Tale Lives Long in Memory; Children's Book

Article excerpt

Mockingbird Kathryn Erskine (Usborne, pounds 6.99) Some stories are so well written and so heartwarming that they stay with you long after you have turned the final page.

Mockingbird is one such novel. Written from the perspective of talented artist Caitlin, an 11-year-old girl with Asperger's, it follows her and her widowed father who are struggling to cope with the death of Devon, her older brother.

The middle school student was murdered, an innocent victim in a shooting, and Caitlin cannot find out how she is meant to deal with what has happened or how she can help her father get through the tragedy.

Devon was her rock. He understood Caitlin best. He was caring and could explain things to her in a way she understood.

Through him, the world was an easier place in which to live.

Now he's gone, she can't ask him how she should make friends at school and she cannot get to grips with emotions. More than anything, she finds everyone's grieving disturbing.

Caitlin understands she needs "closure" to help her and her father move on from the tragedy that has engulfed their lives, but how can it be achieved? …