Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Search of Mockingbird by Loretta Ellsworth

Will Dad come after me? I lied in the letter. He thinks I bought a round-trip ticket, but I only had enough money for one way. And there was another lie. I told him I was coming back.
Erin's mother died when Erin was little. Her dad doesn't talk about her, and Erin only knows a few scraps of information about her mother.
For instance: her mother loved the book "To Catch a Mockingbird". Interestingly enough, so does Erin.
The day before Erin's sixteenth birthday, her dad gives her a book. Not just any book. Her mom's diary.
All the entries captivate Erin, but one more so than in particular. "I just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird. It's the best book I've ever read! I even wrote to the author. I asked her, 'How do you know if you have what it takes to be a writer?' " Immediately, Erin knows what she must do. She packs her bag, leaves her dad a note that's (mostly) truthful, and sets out on the journey that shall basically change her life.
"...Where are you going again?"
"Monroeville, Alabama," I repeat.
His eyes light up. "Great. I've never been there. What's in Monroeville?"
I look down at my journal and whisper, "Harper Lee."
I read To Kill a Mockingbird a couple months ago, but I can't say I actually thought about how I felt about it until I read this book. This fictional book, that happens to include a TON of information about the book in question.
I found myself able to relate to Erin, and the people she meets on her trip are just weird enough to be interesting, but normal enough to be believable. I got the distinct feeling while reading this that the author had actually gone and observed some of these people- though I'm not sure if she actually did. :)
I liked this book, and I'd give it four stars.

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