By: Kathryn Erskine

Main Characters


Caitlin: She has Asperger's syndrome; she's 11 years old and a seventh grader

Devon: Caitlin's brother; died in a school shooting

Michael: A boy in first grade that Caitlin befriends

Mrs. Brooks: Caitlin's therapist

Caitlin's dad: Can't cope with Devon's death


Josh's cousin: Shoot three people, including Devon, at a school shooting


When Devon died, his dad has been helping him build a chest for his boy scouts. After his death, his dad covered it up and never looked at it again; until Caitlin decided she wanted to finish it, to find closure.

One day, when Caitlin and Mrs. Brooks go to the playground, Caitlin meets a boy named Michael. They become quick friends and Caitlin later learns that Michael's mom was one of the people that got shoot in the school shooting.

Caitlin's dad decides to take Caitlin to a fundraiser for the families that died, which includes their family. When they get there, Caitlin is introduced to the new art teacher, Mr. Walters. After seeing Caitlin's drawing of a mocking bird, he tells her that it's the most beautiful thing he's ever seen.

After searching what seems like forever, Caitlin finally finds closure. So she decides to finish Devon's chest with her dad.

When Caitlin and her dad finish the chest, they donate it to Devon's middle school.


What was the author's purpose for writing this book?

I think the author's purpose was to inform people that we should all find closure. We need closure because in reality, everyone dies and we need to enjoy the moments we have the people in our lives before they're gone.

Was the ending satisfactory?

The ending was very satisfactory for me because everyone found closure. Caitlin and her dad found closure with Devon's death, Michael found closure in his mothers death, and Mrs. Brooks found closure for herself.

What did you enjoy about the book?

I enjoyed how Caitlin was very smart and creative even though she has Asperger's syndrome. She looked at things differently and it opened everyone's eyes to real life.

What was the tone of the book?

The tone of the book was kind of sad because of the deaths but also it was interesting because of everything that happened.