Mockingbird – Winner of the 2010 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

Mockingjay may have been the book that almost everyone was reading and talking about this year, but the recently announced winner of the first big Children’s/YA lit. award of the year is Mockingbird (mok’ing-bûrd).  Written by Kathryn Erskine, the middle grade novel joins a growing number of recent books told from the point of view of a child or teen character on the autistic spectrum.

Kira Moody, a friend of Granite School District, reviewed Mockingbird for us earlier this year, awarding it three-and-a-half out of five stars.  Of the book, she said,

Caitlin’s world is different than yours or mine. She sees things, but doesn’t usually GET THEM. With a fairly severe case of Asperger’s Syndrome, she feels like the only person that understands her is her brother. When her brother is killed in a school shooting, she has trouble picking up the pieces of her life and moving on. When she learns about the word closure, she knows that is what she and her father need. How does one find closure? Can Caitlin find her place in the world without her brother’s help?

A touching story about loss, friendship, forgiveness, and closure. Readers will relate to the character’s inability to fit in and her coming to terms with the loss of her brother.  People who like to read realistic fiction and sad stories will enjoy reading this book.

In addition to the winner, the National Book Awards announce four other finalists.  The 2010 finalists for Young People’s literature were:

  • Dark Water by Laura McNeal
  • Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers
  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

For more information on Kathryn Erskine and the 2010 National Book Awards, including the winners in their adult categories (Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry), visit the 2010 National Book Awards page.

Past Winners and Finalists of the National Book Award: Young People’s Literature category

Have you read Mockingbird?  What did you think of it?  What books are your five finalists for the best young people’s literature of 2010?  Please share in the comments.

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