Fiction Friday: Mockingbird

FictionFridayButtonHappy Friday Everyone! I have to say that I have really enjoyed being a part of Fiction Friday. I know I missed last week, but I am back on track… I hope. 😉

One of the books I read this week is a classic fave of mine. I read it with some students as a book club at summer camp, but I really felt like it deserved some attention. The other book, I predict, is going to be one of my all time faves of this summer. Away we go…

The Boxcar Children

Gertrude Chandler Warner


The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner, is a book about four children who run away from home after the death of their parents. They are afraid of their grandfather, who they knew didn’t like their mother, for what reason we never figure out.

Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny travel along, avoiding adults, until Jessie discovers a boxcar which they decide to live in. During this time, Henry walks into town and starts working for a doctor, Dr. Moore, in Silver City and brings home surprises for the kids on a daily basis. The ingenuity of these children grabs kids attention as they read about how they solve problems of every day living.

I know as a child I really wished I could be one of the Alden children and live in a boxcar. And I know that this book has influenced my life choices as I look for adventure in every day life, and as I come up with creative solutions to the problems that rearing 6 children can bring. It is a book that will always stay dear to my heart.

If you can get kids hooked on this book, then you have a huge series of books for them to love including a prequel written by Patricia MacLachlan and some graphic novels. Little brothers and sisters would also love The Adventures of Benny and Watch, a beginning to read series (1.8).

Fast Facts:
Survival Story
Grades 2-5 (RL 3.2)
Lexile Measure®:490L
DRA: 34
Guided Reading: O
154 pages


Kathryn Erskine


Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erskine, tells about Caitlyn, a 5th grade girl with Aspergers who is trying to figure out a messy world without the help of her brother Devon who was killed in a school shooting.  Her widowed father just doesn’t understand her literal mind, or the reason’s why she just doesn’t “get it”.

Through her journey to figure out the world, with the help of her school counselor, Caitlyn helps her whole community find closure.

Reading back over my words, I realize that I just can’t express what this book did for me as a teacher. It really gave me insight into the mind of a young adult with Aspergers. I laughed, I cried, and my heart jumped for joy as I read this wonderful book.

Kathryn Erskine does a great job of sharing serious things in a way that doesn’t way the heart down, but lifts it up instead and fills it with hope.

Fast Facts:
Realistic Fiction
Grades 3-8 (RL 3.5)
Lexile Measure®:630L
DRA: 34
Guided Reading: O
224 pages
NOTE: The reading level of this book is considerably easy, but the play with language and other content may make it more suitable for an older student. It would take a really bright 3rd grader to understand this book without assistance. It would however, be a great read aloud.
Happy Reading!
Enjoy the Dance! ;D

4 thoughts on “Fiction Friday: Mockingbird

  1. The Box Car Children is a classic. I love the new cover though…very engaging. I remember reading those books as a kid and I loved them. I have a few in my library, but I think the out of date covers make them seem “old and boring.” Mockingbird is on my list to read. It sounds wonderful. Thanks for linking up!! Hugs!


    • Sounds like a great you-can’t-judge-a-book-by-it’s-cover lesson is coming on. 😉 I’d link up with you any day! Hugs right back at ya!

  2. Mockingbird sounds like an amazing book! I have had students in my classroom with Aspergers the past two school years. I think it is important for students to understand as early as possible. I can’t wait to add this book to my “must read” list! Thanks so much for the suggestion!

    🙂 Nicole

    • I have kids with Aspergers and Autism every year, but this just helped me get inside the head of a person with Aspergers more than I ever have before. Love books that both teach and entertain. This was my kind of book. 🙂 I think you’ll love it.

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