#tbt is another student recommendation. Sixth grader, Esther, recommends Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. Mockingbird was published in 2010 and won the 2010 National Book Award as well as many state awards.
Ten-year-old Caitlin has Aspergers and tends to see the world rigidly in black and white. She's odd and is aware that her classmates see her as "weird." Her brother, Devon, was her shelter. Now Devon is dead—killed with a teacher and another student in a school shooting—and Caitlin is adrift. Through Caitlin's first-person narration, readers see the world through her eyes and can't help but be impressed by her resiliency. Mockingbird is a great book to develop empathy. If you like emotionally intense books, this one's for you. While you're at it, check out some of the author's other titles like The Absolute Value of Mike or Seeing Red!