Speculation about the 2011 Newbery awards started last fall as people discussed books they'd like to see considered.
Mockingbird (Philomel Books, 2010) by Kathryn Erskine is one of the ones I kept hearing mentioned. (It's already won a National Book Award.) I am so glad I followed up and read this book. Read the opening:
"It looks like a one-winged bird crouching in the corner of our living room. Hurt. Trying to fly every time the heat pump turns on with a click and a groan and blows cold air onto the sheet and lifts it up and it flutters for just a moment and then falls down again. Still. Dead."
Wow! I had to keep reading. I was drawn into Caitlyn's world immediately. Her brother who used to explain all the confusing things in life to this 10 year old girl with Asperger's is dead. Her father cries a lot. People want to help her, but she'd rather hide. This girl who doesn't fit in with the "norm" has surprising insights into life. Caitlin seeks for closure (she looked up the word in the dictionary) for herself and her father and works on finding a friend.
Whether the book wins the Newbery or not, it's definitely an award winner on my shelf. I think everyone should read it. Those who want a glimpse into the life of a child with Asperger's should definitely read it.