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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
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To Kill a Mockingbird (original 1960; edition 1988)

by Harper Lee

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
47,77188812 (4.4)2 / 1728
Member:hungrytales
Title:To Kill a Mockingbird
Authors:Harper Lee
Info:Grand Central Publishing (1988), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Read, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:US, belles lettres, 1930s, read in 2012, source-internet

Work details

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

  1. 262
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (loriephillips)
  2. 2814
    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Caramellunacy, rosylibrarian)
    Caramellunacy: Both stories are about a young girl in the South coming to terms with racism. Secret Life of Bees features an teenaged protagonist whereas To Kill a Mockingbird's Scout is quite a bit younger, but I thought there were themes that resonated between the two.… (more)
  3. 228
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (paulkid)
    paulkid: There are many similarities between these books. For example, a strong father-daughter relationship, where the father teaches by example by taking the moral high ground in protecting a persecuted minority - also kids that break down the barriers between secluded and socially awkward neighbors through books and sundry shenanigans.… (more)
  4. 217
    The Heart is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (dele2451, rosylibrarian, chrisharpe)
  5. 164
    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (Caramellunacy, Anonymous user, Anonymous user)
    Caramellunacy: Both stories about a young girl coming of age in the South and racial intolerance. Also both beautiful reads! To Kill a Mockingbird is told by Scout Finch - the daughter of the town lawyer called upon to defend an African-American man accused of rape. Roll of Thunder is told from the point of view of the daughter of a cotton-picking family who only slowly grows to realize the extent of prejudice her family faces.… (more)
  6. 133
    Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: Very different novels exploring similar themes
  7. 100
    Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (wisewoman)
    wisewoman: These books share a precocious narrator, vital family relationships, and themes that are funny and sad and thought provoking all at the same time. Extremely well written and engaging.
  8. 100
    Native Son by Richard Wright (DanLovesAlice)
    DanLovesAlice: An African-American facing an uphill battle against a highly prejudiced jury and public. Wright, like Lee, explores the dangers of the stereotypes created by insular and ignorant societies.
  9. 80
    Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote (Othemts)
    Othemts: These books are two sides of the same coin of life in a small Alabama town. Where there's dignity and hope in Mockingbird, Other Voices is decadence and demoralization
  10. 83
    Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (bnbookgirl)
  11. 51
    Good Night, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian (eclt83)
    eclt83: Goodnight, Mr Tom is as touching as To kill a mockingbird. Problems in society causes pain for the weaker.
  12. 51
    Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence (kxlly)
  13. 40
    The Stones Of Mourning Creek by Diane Les Becquets (Sadie-rae_Kieran)
    Sadie-rae_Kieran: Similar setting, 1960's in the south. Deals with some similar issues as well,including racism/discrimination. Though sad at times, a beautiful and touching story.
  14. 74
    A Painted House by John Grisham (infiniteletters)
  15. 41
    A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines (rarm)
  16. 41
    Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (chrisharpe)
  17. 42
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (LKAYC)
  18. 64
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (aamirq)
  19. 31
    The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter van Tilburg Clark (mysterymax)
    mysterymax: This book also explores mob/vigilante thinking and is a classic in its own way.
  20. 31
    Scottsboro Boy by Haywood Patterson (lilithcat)
    lilithcat: For the real story of race relations in Alabama in the thirties, read this autobiography of Haywood Patterson, one of several young black men judicially railroaded for the rape of two young white women, and sentenced to death. A national and international campaign ultimately resulted in their exonerations, but their lives had already been destroyed.… (more)

(see all 40 recommendations)

Romans (41)
1960s (157)
Unread books (1,086)
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Showing 1-5 of 854 (next | show all)
"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
- Atticus Finch"

To make a difference and win hearts and minds it takes great ideas and great ideals expressed with character to win. And to fight when you know you will be licked anyway takes a real man or woman.

I enjoyed the story, the characters were well rounded and you cared about them and what happened to them. It kind of took me back to what if was like being a child and trying to figure out how the world works and relating to people. Some good parenting advice included in the story. Unlike many fiction tales not everyone lives happily ever after. Good does not completely triumph over evil. But the author highlights the importance of trying doing your best anyway and that is what counts.

I liked how the point was made that many people were horrified about what Hitler was doing to the Jews during that time. But Americans were treating black people like second class citizens and weren't exactly free of prejudice then either. I feel like we have come a long way in America and part of it is thanks to people in real life that stood up for fair play and equal treatment even though it was unpopular.

Interesting note, Dietrich Bonhoeffer also identified our mistreatment of people because of their skin color when he visited us from Germany prior to WWII and was saddened by the lack of action on the part of the Christian church in America to stand up for integration.

"The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
— Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

I don't think Harper Lee ever wrote another book. Part of me is sad about that. At least the one book she wrote was super awesome. :)
( )
1 vote Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I love the book, audiobook, and movie starring Gregory Peck. An American classic. A love story at the core. Although there are so many options for exploring the rich themes found in this book from the obvious racial discrimination, right vs. wrong, fear and anger, and ignorance. I love the richness of the characters and appreciate the honesty and sincerity that Scout explores and discovers her world - the good, bad and ugly. I love the way Atticus demonstrates what it takes to do the right thing and as well as Scout's awareness of the discrimination and stereotypes beyond black and white - with Boo Radley.

This is a must read, over and over again. ( )
  zsvandyk | Mar 15, 2015 |
This is a re-read, after seeing a play version at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford. In those circumstances, I have noticed little incidents and aspects of the story and characters I didn't pick up on first time round which add to the subtlety of the overall effect of reading this great and timeless novel. ( )
  john257hopper | Mar 10, 2015 |
Absolutely Wonderful. A true classic. I would recommend this book to everyone with a pulse. This is one of my absolute favorite books. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did
  Jacob_Geers | Mar 8, 2015 |
Originally written in 1960 as a window into the south(Alabama) and its inhabitants; written as a romance it has stood the test of time as a voice of a generation of people who were not just segregationist, but were also a part of a community with deep roots. It is also about racism and acceptance, kindness and cruelty. A must read for any and all.
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  cm37107 | Mar 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 854 (next | show all)
A book that we thought instructed us about the world tells us, instead, about the limitations of Jim Crow liberalism in Maycomb, Alabama.
 
Its sentiments and moral grandeur are as unimpeachable as the character of its hero, Atticus. ... It's time to stop pretending that "To Kill a Mockingbird" is some kind of timeless classic that ranks with the great works of American literature. Its bloodless liberal humanism is sadly dated, as pristinely preserved in its pages as the dinosaur DNA in "Jurassic Park."
 
Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; Novelist Lee's prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life.
added by Shortride | editTime (pay site) (Aug 1, 1960)
 
There are some improbable and sentimental moments in the story, but there are also great moments of laughter that belong to memory and a novelist's hand... Miss Lee's original characters are people to cherish in this winning first novel by a fresh writer with something significant to say, South and North.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, Herbert Mitgang (pay site) (Jul 13, 1960)
 
The dialogue of Miss Lee's refreshingly varied characters is a constant delight in its authenticity and swift revelation of personality. The events connecting the Finches with the Ewell-Robinson lawsuit develop quietly and logically, unifying the plot and dramatizing the author's level-headed plea for interracial understanding... Moviegoing readers will be able to cast most of the roles very quickly, but it is no disparagement of Miss Lee's winning book to say that it could be the basis of an excellent film.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lee, Harperprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brouwer, AafkeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Agostino Schanzer, AmaliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edinga, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elster, MagliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
French, AlbertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
French, AlbertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gry SønstengTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hausser, IsabellePostfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malignon, ClaireTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porta, BaldomeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, RosesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sergel, ChristopherAdaptersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spacek, SissyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spacek, SissyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoianov, IsabelleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoianova, ITranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szymański, (tłumacz). MaciejTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerlund, MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerlund, MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westrup, Jadwiga P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.
~ Charles Lamb
Dedication
For Mr. Lee and Alice
in consideration of Love & Affection
First words
When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
Please spare Mockingbird an Introduction. (From the Foreword by Harper Lee)
Quotations
Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.
People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.
They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions, but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.
Not from, but about To Kill a Mockingbird, with apologies:

Monroeville, Alabama
January, 1966

Editor, The News Leader:

Recently I have received echoes down this way of the Hanover County School Board’s activities, and what I’ve heard makes me wonder if any of its members can read.

Surely it is plain to the simplest intelligence that “To Kill a Mockingbird” spells out in words of seldom more than two syllables a code of honor and conduct, Christian in its ethic, that is the heritage of all Southerners. To hear that the novel is “immoral” has made me count the years between now and 1984, for I have yet to come across a better example of doublethink.

I feel, however, that the problem is one of illiteracy, not Marxism. Therefore I enclose a small contribution to the Beadle Bumble Fund that I hope will be used to enroll the Hanover County School Board in any first grade of its choice.

Harper Lee
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' To Kill A Mockingbird is a coming of age story set in the deep south during the time of the Great Depression. Atticus Finch, father of Scout and Jem decides to represent a black man, accused of raping a white woman, in court. Although this stirs up the town during a much heated and racist time during America's history, it sheds a light on the hostility of the south during the 1930's. Filled with insight and suspense, To Kill A Mockingbird is a timeless story that any one can learn something from.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446310786, Mass Market Paperback)

"When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.... When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out."

Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus--three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up.

Like the slow-moving occupants of her fictional town, Lee takes her time getting to the heart of her tale; we first meet the Finches the summer before Scout's first year at school. She, her brother, and Dill Harris, a boy who spends the summers with his aunt in Maycomb, while away the hours reenacting scenes from Dracula and plotting ways to get a peek at the town bogeyman, Boo Radley. At first the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape of Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a drunk and violent white farmer, barely penetrate the children's consciousness. Then Atticus is called on to defend the accused, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout and Jem find themselves caught up in events beyond their understanding. During the trial, the town exhibits its ugly side, but Lee offers plenty of counterbalance as well--in the struggle of an elderly woman to overcome her morphine habit before she dies; in the heroism of Atticus Finch, standing up for what he knows is right; and finally in Scout's hard-won understanding that most people are essentially kind "when you really see them." By turns funny, wise, and heartbreaking, To Kill a Mockingbird is one classic that continues to speak to new generations, and deserves to be reread often. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:20 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

The explosion of racial hate in an Alabama town is viewed by a little girl whose father defends a black man accused of rape.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 22 descriptions

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