This week I'm writing a review on The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney. I met Daisy during the SCBWI LA Conference this past summer and she's an amazing person - friendly and supportive - and so I'm not surprised that the book is amazing as well!
Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.
Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.
In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.
Daisy has been very open about this topic, revealing that she experienced a similar experience. In all honesty, I don't think the book could have been written this well if she hadn't ... maybe if she was a friend or a guidance counselor ... but I'm still not sure! Daisy nails the emotions that the character experiences after the date rape - the grief, the terror, the doubts, and the guilt.
And yet, Daisy explores the topic in such a way that there's a continuous thread of hope. The novel could have easily turned dark and depressing, but Alex continues to persevere and stay strong. There's also a sweet male character that you easily fall in love with!
I think this novel is an important read (and gift for teens) for several reasons. This kind of date rape (or friend rape, or acquaintance rape) is more prevalent than we can ever know. The Mockingbirds is a way to help those girls who have been the victim of a date rape - and also to educate those who have not, so they can avoid such a situation.
I applaud Daisy for writing such a real and vivid portrayal of such a touchy topic - and give The Mockingbirds 5 Palm Trees.
And definitely check out The Mockingbirds Book Trailer: