Loretta Ellsworth author
Loretta Ellsworth

in search of mockingbird

In Search of Mockingbird

Hen­ry Holt Books for Young Read­ers
2007; ages 12 and up
ISBN 978–0‑8050–7236‑5

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A run­away seeks Harp­er Lee for answers.

Some­times the things that need to be dis­cov­ered aren’t so eas­i­ly found at home. Erin is cer­tain that this is true in her case. A book is all that con­nects Erin to her moth­er, who died when she was a baby. But how much can Erin real­ly learn about her moth­er from a tat­tered copy of To Kill a Mock­ing­bird?

On the eve of her six­teenth birth­day, Erin decides it’s final­ly time to find out. And so begins her bus jour­ney from Min­neso­ta to Alaba­ma in search of Harp­er Lee, the reclu­sive author of Mockingbird.

In a nov­el full of quirky char­ac­ters, strange coin­ci­dences, and on-the-road adven­tures, Loret­ta Ellsworth deft­ly traces a unique voy­age of self-discovery.


honors and recognition

TAYSHAS Read­ing List, Texas Library Asso­ci­a­tion, 2008–2009
Teen’s Top Ten nom­i­na­tion
Best Books for Young Adults nom­i­na­tion
Cybil Award nom­i­na­tion
IRA Notable Book in Young Adult Fic­tion, 2008
Mid­west Con­nec­tions Spring/Summer Pick
Mid­west Book­seller’s Choice Hon­or Award in Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture, 2007
New York Library’s List for the Teenage
Notable Book in Lan­guage Arts, 2008
Book-of-the-Month Club Selection


“A famil­iar theme, but this lit­tle book’s qui­et fresh­ness, humor, and affec­tion for Erin and her bus com­pan­ions make it spe­cial and mem­o­rable. A great book club choice for thought­ful young read­ers and aspir­ing young writ­ers.” (Ellen Scott, The Book­worm, Oma­ha, NE)

“A remark­able read, fea­tur­ing some of the best and crispest dia­logue I have encoun­tered in a long time. This is a book for all ages not just the young adult mar­ket. Any­one who has read To Kill a Mock­ing­bird will con­sid­er this book a gift to be trea­sured. Loret­ta Ellsworth has told a sto­ry that res­onates wis­dom in its sim­plic­i­ty. I didn’t want it to end.” (Marge Grutz­mach­er, Past­times Books, Sis­ter Bay, WI)

“In a lot of ways In Search of Mock­ing­bird seems to be a nov­el about moth­ers and daugh­ters, but I think the twist that Ellsworth has giv­en her read­ers about the sig­nif­i­cance of the right book at the right time in any­one’s life should not be over­looked. Erin con­nects with her moth­er most com­plete­ly through the pages of the book they both love and the author they both admire. Basi­cal­ly, To Kill a Mock­ing­bird is the bridge to her moth­er and by express­ing this so well with Erin’s sto­ry, Ellsworth’s exam­ple will send many of her read­ers off on the search of titles that will apply to their own lives as well. The best sort of dis­cov­ery for all of them would be Harp­er Lee’s book itself—a clas­sic well deserv­ing of the atten­tion that the tal­ent­ed Ellsworth has giv­en it.” (Colleen Mon­dor, ChasingRay.com)