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THE MOCKINGBIRDS by Daisy  Whitney

THE MOCKINGBIRDS

By Daisy Whitney

Age Range: 15 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-316-09053-7
Publisher: Little, Brown

Whitney, who brought a successful case against a man who date-raped her in college, here sets a date rape and its aftermath on the campus of an elite boarding school. After Alex wakes up disoriented in a strange boy's bedroom, her roommate and sister convince her to go to the Mockingbirds, an underground student group dedicated to justice. As Alex's case against the thoroughly slimy Carter progresses and her memories of the night return, her emotions run a realistic gamut from shame to self-doubt to fury. However, the story's simplicity is troubling. Everyone but Carter and his villainous friends easily believes Alex's accusations—a rare boon for a rape survivor—and the school's obliviousness to student wrongdoing is implausible. Students use elements of To Kill a Mockingbird as code, but the references feel gimmicky and forced, particularly because the original Mockingbird rape trial is a grave miscarriage of justice. Hits a few high notes—including a consensual, caring and mutually desirous relationship between Alex and a Mockingbird—but ultimately disappointing. (Fiction. 15 & up)