By Kathryn Erskine

Original Publisher: Philomel Books (Penguin Young Readers Group)
Current & Digital Publisher: Puffin

Reading Level: Ages 10 & Up

YPL Finalists That Year:

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

YPL Winner That Year: Kathryn Erksine for Mockingbird

Judges That Year: Laban Carrick Hill, Kelly Link, Tor Seidler, Hope Anita Smith, Sara Zarr

The Year in Literature: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead won the Newbery Medal.  Going Bovine by Libba Bray won the Printz Award.

More Information: Erksine said she was inspired to write Mockingbird, a novel about a young woman with Aspberger’s who is marginalized and taunted by her classmates, after the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings because the shooter had a history of mental illness. “I can't help but think that if the shooter had been given attention earlier, and been monitored throughout his childhood and adolescence, maybe things wouldn't have escalated to such a horrifying conclusion. That's also why I make Mrs. Brook a prominent character in Mockingbird, because I want to send the message that, especially in this time of budget cuts, we need counselors in all of our schools because they help all of us cope with and understand each other.”

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