Just to be clear, The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney is about date rape. It’s also about the powerlessness of adults, and justice. The book begins with the main character Alex awakening naked in a boy’s bed that she does not know. She knows she is in a dorm room at her high school boarding school, gets dressed and goes home. Having no recollection of how she ended up in the boy’s room, Alex turns to her roommate and older sister for help. Through talking to them, she realizes that she has been date raped while she had had too much to drink the night before. At a school where the students view the adults as incapable of helping, they have formed their own Mockingbird society to mete out justice. To Kill a Mockingbird is where the Mockingbirds found their origins and plays an important role in the book.
The board of the Mockingbirds listens to potential cases and make the determination whether the case will be tried or not. Alex’s case is taken on, but first new language must be voted on that incorporates date rape into the student code of conduct. In the meantime, the Mockingbirds begin to impose small penalties on the perpetrators, such as marking them absent while they are present, which prevents them from certain privileges on campus. Both ‘plaintiff’ and ‘defendant’ are represented by a student advocate and witnesses are called. If defendant is found guilty, they must agree to give up the thing they love most (ex: quarterback on the football team). If they are found not guilty, they are offered a position on the Mockingbirds.
A great book overall with lots of good things to think about. The message that a lack of yes is a no, and that the one saying yes must be able to know that they are saying no is a powerful message. Now I just need to decide when it would be appropriate to share with my middle school daughter. I’m counting on being able to wait a couple years.