A runaway seeks Harper Lee for answers
Sometimes the things that need to be discovered aren't so easily found at home. Erin is certain that this is true in her case. A book is all that connects Erin to her mother, who died when she was a baby. But how much can Erin really learn about her mother from a tattered copy of To Kill a Mockingbird? On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Erin decides it's finally time to find out. And so begins her bus journey from Minnesota to Alabama in search of Harper Lee, the reclusive author of To Kill a Mockingbird.
In a novel full of quirky characters, strange coincidences, and on-the-road adventures, In Search of Mockingbirdby Loretta Ellsworth deftly traces a unique voyage of self-discovery, perfect for fans of To Kill a Mockingbirdand Go Set a Watchman.
“Light, contemporary quest story . . . Suggest this as a follow-up to Lee's classic novel.” —Booklist
“Erin's journey of self-discovery gives her the courage to confront her own failings and the maturity to accept her father's plans to marry. . . . Readers will root for her while reaching for a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.” —Publishers Weekly
"Ellsworth makes Erin's unlikely coming-of-age trip convincing. Designed to look like an old journal, the story's searching-for-mother theme should make it especially appealing to older fans of Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn Dixie (2000) and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice Books. An engaging road trip." -Kirkus Reviews
A teen s yearning to connect to her long-deceased mother is at the core of Ellsworth s (The Shrouding Woman) novel. Erin, whose mother died when she was three days old, cherishes her mother s worn paperback copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. This book and a few black-and-white photographs are her sole connections to her mother s life. The day before her 16th birthday, Erin s father gives her the diary her mother had kept at 16. After reading a few entries, Erin learns that she shares many similarities with her mother, including their mutual dream of becoming writers. She then discovers that her mother once wrote to Harper Lee asking, How do you know if you have what it takes to be a writer? Erin decides she has to meet Harper Lee in person; she sneaks out of the house and boards a bus to Monroeville, Ala. She ll be there, sitting in her porch swing, waiting to talk to me. The story bogs down during the road trip, with a great deal of attention given to the adults who offer Erin help along the way. When Erin arrives at her destination, she accepts that traveling to Monroeville won t bring her closer to her mother; only her father can fill in the blanks. Erin s journey of self-discovery gives her the courage to confront her own failings and the maturity to accept her father s plans to marry. Though Erin s voice seems younger than her years, readers will root for her while reaching for a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. Ages 10 14.