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Kathryn Erskine grew up country-hopping, living in the Netherlands, Israel, South Africa and Scotland before finally settling in Virginia, USA. After working as a lawyer for fifteen years, Kathryn realised that her real passion lay in writing. Mockingbird, her first novel to be published in the UK, won an American National Book Award in 2011.
From the award-winning author of Mockingbird, this is a powerful and thought-provoking historical novel of family and friendships and the tackling of the important themes of race and responsibility in '70s America in the 'Deep South', but with elements that resonate on a wider scale. Red Porter knows the difference between right and wrong, black and white. But he also knows that for folk in his hometown, Stony Gap, this isn't always clear. With the help of a few unlikely characters however, red realises that while he can't fix the past, he can still change the future and stand up for those who need him most. This is a great title for book clubs to read, and explore the issues surrounding the civil rights movement. To help with the discussion there are some interesting and provoking questions which you can download here. There is also an accompanying Author's Note which explores Kathryn's own childhood in South Africa and why she was so compelled to tell Red's story.
Winner of the American National Book Award 2010. 11 year old Caitlin has Asperger's. Her world is torn apart when her beloved brother is kille in a school schooting. Anxious and confused, caitline decides what she and her father need is 'closure'. But she needs to find it. This is an incredibly moving and heart-warming story of loss, self-discovery and recovery told from a completely different perspective and it's likely to be one of the most moving books you'll ever read. Author Kathryn Erskine on Mockingbird: “Understanding breeds tolerance. And, whatever situation you're in, there's always hope." Kathryn has a family member with Asperger’s Syndrome so in writing Mockingbird she wanted to help people understand those on the autism spectrum. Kathryn says: “I wanted readers to really get inside her head and be able to see the world from her perspective. My hope was that they would realise that, actually, Caitlin's thought processes are very logical and in many ways make a lot of sense, despite not being socially acceptable. If that realisation translates into having more tolerance for what we might consider "odd" behaviour, that would be brilliant.”
Life will never be the same for Red Porter. He's a kid growing up around black car grease, white fence paint, and the backward attitudes of the folks who live in his hometown: Stony Gap, Virginia. And when Red's daddy dies, he's left with his younger brother, his mama, and some hard decisions. With their money dwindling, Red does everything he can to keep the family business - a gas station, repair shop and convenience store - afloat. But when he uncovers some of the racial injustices that have been happening in Stony Gap since before he was born, Red is faced with unsettling questions about the legacy behind his family's shop, and everything he's fighting for...And through his friendships with some unlikely characters, Red starts to see there's a whole lot more than car motors and rusty fenders that need fixing in his world. This is a new title from American National Book Award-winning author, Kathy Erskine (Mockingbird). This is a thought-provoking historical fiction tackling the important themes of race and responsibility in 70s America, but with elements that resonate on a wider scale. It has strong appeal for book clubs.
Caitlin misses her brother every day. Since his death in a school shooting, she has no one to explain the world to her. And for Caitlin, the world is a confusing place. She hates it when colours get mixed up, prefers everything to be black-and-white, and needs to check her Facial Expressions Chart to understand emotions. So when Caitlin reads the definition of closure , she decides that's what she needs. And as she struggles to find it, a world of colour begins to enter her black-and-white life...