The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I only made one Goodreads status update on this one:
Finished: A powerful book.
And it most certainly is a powerful book. It’s centered around a high school student’s date rape experience. Her decision to not report it to the officials or police but instead enlisting the help of a student based group of “jurors” (Mockingbirds) that put the accused on trial and if found guilty the accused is stripped of the thing they love most, usually a spot on the sports team they are associated with.
While I enjoyed the strong message this book sent out: that students can govern and penalize each other effectively; in the end I felt that the system that this jury used worked backwards. The accused was already guilty before the trial and received disciplinary actions against them prior to the trial, such as falsely marking the student tardy or absent for classes throughout the day, putting their name in a library book associated with students that were found guilty through the mockingjay system. These actions, while not severe, play a roll on how the student body perceived the student in question jeopardizing the accused students character. There’s always a chance that the accused is not guily and these actions suggest that the mockingjay system is infallible and that simply cannot be.
I personally have never been given the date rape drug or been raped so I personally could not relate to the core of this book and the scenes that unfolded along the way.
I would not suggest this book be read by anyone under 14, unless they are sexually active or the victim of rape.
I received this as a review copy from the publisher: Little, Brown, while attending BEA 2010.