Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is about a girl named Caitlin Smith. Her dad and community have just been rocked by an awful tragedy. Three people – two students and a teacher- were killed in a school shooting at Virginia Dare Middle School. One of the students was Caitlin's brother, Devon. A syndrome that Caitlin has makes everything much more difficult for her, she has Asperger's syndrome, which allows her to only see the world in very strict terms – in black and white. Caitlin has trouble processing her own feelings, her feelings about others, and does not know right from wrong. One day, after hearing a newscast about the shooting, she discovers the word 'closure', and determines that closure is exactly what she and her father need. Mrs. Brook, the school counsellor, tries to help her make friends, but Caitlin opposes, at least up until she found Michael, the son of the teacher who was shot.He is a first grader, who is also trying to find closure, as is the whole community.The school bully, Josh, is Michael's reading buddy, which makes Caitlin uncomfortable.She soon becomes friends with Michael again. Later in the book, we find that Caitlin's enemy, Josh, is cousins with the shooter. He states that he is only mean to people who are mean to him and starts to cry. Caitlin uses her newfound empathy skills to comfort him.
At the end of the book, Michael, Caitlin, and Josh are all friends, and go to the dedication ceremony together.