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Headscratchers / Mockingbird

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Headscratchers for the Kathryn Erskine book Mockingbird

  • In chapter 18, Mrs. Brook pairs Michael and Josh up as reading buddies despite Caitlin's protests and she tells her "part of your Plan of Healing is to make friends." As a result, Caitlin throws a tantrum, and suddenly decides Michael doesn't want to be her friend anymore, even though it's clearly not the case. Why does she do this? Shouldn't she be encouraging Caitlin's friendship with Michael? Does Michael not count in her book as a friend? Sure he's younger than Caitlin, but age shouldn't matter. In my freshman year of high school I had a friend who was a senior! And I have a friend who's soon to be a senior in high school!
    • This bothered me as well. I assumed that the pairing was for Michael and/or Josh's benefit, and Mrs. Brook decided to try and spin it to Caitlin as part of Caitlin's plan as well. (Not to justify the assignment)
    • Could also be that Mrs. Brook specifically wanted her to make friends with girls.
  • I really don't understand how some of these people treat Caitlin. They don't bother to really teach her how to socialize with people or gently tell her the right things to say to people. Instead, they either just outright expect her to know right off (Mrs. Brook at times) or make a big deal out of her somewhat inappropriate actions (Her dad, Harold, when they go to the fund raiser). Mrs. Brook is a nice counselor and all, but sometimes I feel she doesn't really TEACH Caitlin how to greet someone or talk to someone. She shows her some social cues and helps her to understand emotions and facial expressions, but that's it. She doesn't teach her how to say hi or to compliment someone or to start a conversation that won't make other kids feel all that freaked out by her. I had a social studies class in my elementary school that did just that!

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