This is a timely and relevant novel about coping after a tragedy. Ten-year-old Caitlin must understand her grief after the death of her older brother, Devon, who was killed in a school shooting. Caitlin and her father struggle with finding closure after such a tragic loss, which is compounded for Caitlin, who has Asperger’s and struggles to fit in.

With the help of her school counselor and some unlikely friends, she learns about empathy on her path to closure, and her new friends learn about kindness and compassion.

A wonderful middle-grade book for readers age 8-12, this book would make a great school or family read as it deals with issues of grief, depression, bullying and friendship. Erskine makes a passionate plea with her epigraph for the book: “In hopes that we may all understand each other better.” It also won the 2010 U.S. National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.