Book Review: The Mockingbirds by: Daisy Whitney


Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publish Date:
November 2, 2010

From Publisher for Review


Order From: 
Amazon / Barnes & Noble

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 the student body.

In this account of a teenage girl's search for her voice and the courage to use it, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that standing up for someone, especially yourself, is worth the fight.

Review: The story is set at Themis Academy, and is about Alex, a gifted music major. The morning after she attends a concert with her friends, she wakes next to Carter, with no memory of how she got there or of what happened. It soon becomes evident that Carter had sex with her. Guilt-stricken that she had sex with a virtual stranger and can't remember it, Alex confides in her roommates. Alex's roommates convince her to take her case to the Mockingbirds.

At Themis Academy, the students are held to high standards. However, the students don't feel like there is any real justice system. That's why, years earlier, Alex's own sister created a secret group called The Mockingbirds. The group listens to evidence and declare the defendant guilty or innocent after the trial.

Alex's memories slowly begin to return, usually at the worst possible times. To make things worse, she must deal with the whispers of her fellow students as Carter spreads his lies about her. Due to the rumors, Alex ends up eating her meals in her room and taking different routes to her classes. She must also work through her own doubts about who she is and how this could have happened. As she and the Mockingbirds move forward to the trial of Carter for date rape, Alex begins to understand that not saying no doesn't mean yes.

Thankfully Alex has good friends, especially her new friend Martin, who stand by her and make sure she always has an escort to classes and sometimes bring her food in her dorm room. Alex and Martin develop a sweet romance as Alex slowly tries to get back to normal in the aftermath of the rape and the progression of the trial.

This is a powerful and moving book about a very sensitive topic – date rape. Drawing on personal experience, Ms. Whitney has written a haunting and emotional fictional account of a girl’s reaction to being date raped and the punishment that was meted out via a very unique student justice system. This book will stay with you long after you close the back cover. This is something you’ll want to read with your teenage children – girls and boys.

The Mockingbirds series: The Mockingbirds (1), The Rivals (2)


  1. Mockingbirds sounds like a great novel that addresses a very important issue. Great review Star.

  2. great review. I found Mockingbirds moving as well and not at all what I had originally expected. I love when books surprise us.

  3. Great review! This is the first time I've really seen the parallels with To Kill A Mockingbird. This sounds like a powerful story. I can't wait to read it. Thank you!


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