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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
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To Kill a Mockingbird (original 1960; edition 1993)

by Harper Lee, David Johnson (Illustrator), Timothy S. Healy (Afterword)

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46,32483713 (4.41)2 / 1626
Member:AtlanticWinds
Title:To Kill a Mockingbird
Authors:Harper Lee
Other authors:David Johnson (Illustrator), Timothy S. Healy (Afterword)
Info:Reader's Digest Association (1993), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 309 pages
Collections:Read in 2012, Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Alabama, racism, American South, Pulitzer Prize, American, illustrated, illustrated by David Johnson

Work details

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

1960s (66)
Unread books (1,029)
  1. 262
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (loriephillips)
  2. 217
    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)
  3. 217
    The Heart is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (dele2451, RosyLibrarian, chrisharpe)
  4. 2614
    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)
  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. 110
    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.
  7. 110
    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.
  8. 133
    Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: Very different novels exploring similar themes
  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. 93
    Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (bnbookgirl)
  11. 61
    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. 61
    Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence (kxlly)
  13. 50
    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. 51
    Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (chrisharpe)
  15. 51
    A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines (rarm)
  16. 84
    A Painted House by John Grisham (infiniteletters)
  17. 74
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (aamirq)
  18. 41
    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)
  19. 41
    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. 41
    Dovey Coe by Frances O'Roark Dowell (meggyweg)

(see all 39 recommendations)

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English (807)  French (8)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  Swedish (3)  Dutch (3)  Italian (3)  Norwegian (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (836)
Showing 1-5 of 807 (next | show all)
It’s difficult to review a book I’ve known so well over so many years, reading it more times than I would have chosen. Yes, it’s very well written – engaging, evocative and charged thematically. No doubt many people picture the characters as in the Gregory Peck film, successful as that was too. If anything, though, I found Atticus just too good a man and father. Lee does manage to avoid a self-destructive happy ending but Atticus does remain nonpareil, a man with patience, courtesy, insight, care and persistence. Does he have any faults? None that I can remember.

How well this book is travelling now I’m not sure. While it used to appeal to teenagers, shorter concentration spans and more restricted vocabularies today would make this a challenging book for them to get through, not that that is in any way a criticism of what Lee wrote.

With both plots – the Boo Radley one and the Tom Robinson one – have bitter-sweet aspects to them, Lee creates a feeling that we can’t expect justice in life and through Boo Radley’s situation we realise that not all villains are as obvious as Bob Ewell. ( )
  evening | Jul 24, 2014 |
4.5
  aweinel | Jul 14, 2014 |
I had always enjoyed the movie. So, once I started trying to read some of the classics, this one was one I said I would attempt to read. I wasn't quite sure if I would like it but I gave it a try..And I'm glad I did. It had its moments that I got bored..But I think that was mostly I am so used to Fantasy and a little more 'action'...But this book was one that kept your attention. And even though I already knew what happened in the book..I still couldn't put it down because I wanted to still find out what happened.

This is one of those books that if you get upset easily about how people were treated during this time period..Then you better brace yourself if you want to read it...And just...Breathe! lol..

But I loved Scout because she was such a curious little something...And she keeps a smile on your face...

I also loved Atticus because no matter what others in his community said, he was determined to continue defending Tom Robinson. Even though he knew there was a 99.999% chance that he wouldn't win the case...He still did his very best to give Tom Robinson a great defense.

This book was well ahead of its time. And I'm sure very controversial. And it is very much worth trying to read. ( )
  MsBridgetReads | Jul 8, 2014 |
I can't remember much about this book, other than I never had to read it for class, so I decided to read it on my own. Perhaps that was a poor choice, my limited reading abilities in high school, without the aid of a teacher have perhaps made me think less of this book than I should. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 807 (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 (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
French, AlbertIntroductionmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Brouwer, AafkeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Agostino Schanzer, AmaliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edinga, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elster, MagliTranslatorsecondary 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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Important events
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Epigraph
Lawyers, I suppose, were children once. - Charles Lamb
Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.
~ Charles Lamb
Dedication
For Mr. Lee and Alice
in consideration of Love and Affection
First words
When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
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
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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 Finch decides to represent a black man, accused of raping a white woman, in court. Although this stirrs 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)

Racial animosity is aroused in an Alabama town when a little girl's father defends a black man accused of rape.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 20 descriptions

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