Wednesday, October 5, 2011

5th Grade Book Group

Fifth graders Emily and Jessica very kindly invited me to join their book group with Mrs. Vielleux to read Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. Mockingbird is beautifully and realistically told from the perspective of 11-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger's syndrome. None of us were able to stick to the nightly page assignments; the book is so good that we all "illegally" read ahead!

We had great conversations about how it must feel to think and perceive the social world so differently than most of us do. The girls learned a lot about Asperger's and the challenges that kids with Asperger's face. They showed a lot of empathy for Caitlin and rooted for her as she learned how to make a friend, deal with bullying, and help herself and her father heal after a tragedy. They also had questions for me about how I work with kids with Asperger's and if I do some of the same things that Caitlin's school counselor, Mrs. Brooks, does. (The answer was yes!).

Mockingbird provided the girls great background for our 5th grade class council unit on bullying. This week we started talking about invisible differences (differences that are not readily obvious to peers) and Jessica and Emily were able to share a lot of information about how kids with Asperger's might be at risk of being targets for bullying. And guess what! Now other kids are interested in reading this wonderful book. We highly recommend it to parents too!


nvielleux said...

This was one of the best books I have read this year. I really felt like I was inside the main character's brain-- which works differently than my own. Thanks for joining us!

Post a Comment