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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird (original 1960; edition 1988)

by Harper Lee

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48,84993411 (4.4)2 / 1822
Title:To Kill a Mockingbird
Authors:Harper Lee
Info:Grand Central Publishing (1988), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:20th century, american literature, alabama, american south, racism, novel

Work details

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

Recently added byprivate library, CathrineF, dewittlib, mudroom, olschool, ezubiria, dstuerzer, Andrew00
  1. 282
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (loriephillips)
  2. 2914
    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. 238
    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)
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    The Heart is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (dele2451, rosylibrarian, chrisharpe)
  5. 174
    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. 143
    Snow Falling on Cedars: A Novel by David Guterson (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: Very different novels exploring similar themes
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  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
    Home by Toni Morrison (Louve_de_mer)
    Louve_de_mer: Pour les problèmes de ségrégation raciale aux États-Unis.
  16. 41
    Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (chrisharpe)
  17. 41
    A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines (rarm)
  18. 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.
  19. 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)
  20. 42
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (LKAYC)

(see all 41 recommendations)

Romans (41)
1960s (158)
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This review was originally posted @ Readers' Muse

I started hating classics after reading Tess of the d'Urbervilles. The boring classic narration drove me to a reader's block. I couldn't pick up any other book for at least a month. Since then I started hating classics and didn't read any more. Until my goodreads friend challenged me to read it.

I should admit, this book broke my “I won't read classics” stance.

The story is narrated by Scout Finch. Scout is a typical tomboy who adores her father and prefers wearing overalls to a frock. The kind of a character I can really relate to. It's this coming of age kind of story where a white man being a Black's lawyer (Tom Robinson's lawyer) is initially frowned upon. But when the whole town realizes that the black man (who is accused of Rape of a white girl) is actually innocent, perspectives change.
The whole white vs. black drama is beautifully written. The actual “Hero” of the book would no doubt be Atticus. For someone who has no idea of the extent of White vs. Black conflicts (Being Indian, I am a “Brown” technically!), the book has been a real eye opener. Such was the character of Atticus Finch, who not only taught Scout good morals, he taught me a lot of things too – Be kind, don’t be prejudiced. Accept people.

No wonder the book won a Pulitzer. All characters were well written and had that depth which is lacking in most of the books written these days. More importantly, the characters mostly had some good values. Except of course that of Bob Ewell (Father of the girl who was supposedly raped by Tom Robinson).

The book also brings out the ethics of a true lawyer beautifully. In spite of the whole town being against Atticus defending Tom, Atticus still defends Tom and does a real good job at it though he loses the case. But at the end of the Bob Ewell loses his honour. This makes him resolve to murder Atticus and harm his family. That's when Nathan “Boo” Radley comes to rescue.

Nathan “Boo” Radley live in scout's neighborhood but has never been seen by her or her brother (Jem Finch). So they taunt him in the beginning of the story yet, Boo Radley gives leaves them gifts in a tree, In the end Boo Radley saves Jem (When Bob Ewell attacks him), this changes Scout's perspective making her realize that she hasn't repaid Boo for his gifts.

Bob Ewell dies while attacking Jem. But the real twist of the story is when the Sheriff declares that Ewell fell over his own knife and died and neither Jem nor Boo are responsible for his death.

Overall, the book had that warmth and humor even describing about rather serious and cold issues like rape and racial inequality.
I am glad I didn't miss this book.

VERDICT: A book definitely to be read

RATING: 4.8/5
( )
1 vote bookandink | Aug 19, 2015 |
Read this in HS and now many moons later I need to revisit Scout and the gang. Love - love - love Harper Lee. Why did she not pick up the pen again??????? ( )
  nurse73 | Aug 14, 2015 |
Best book! ( )
  AlexaHarper | Aug 10, 2015 |
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.
  KunmingERC | Aug 9, 2015 |
Yes, I'm finally reading this. I've never read it before, and everyone assumes I have because this is a book everyone's read, plus I read "everything" so of course I've read this.

Except I haven't. I missed Mockingbird in school because I missed an awful lot of school, and then I wasn't tempted to read it on my own because it was such a "supposed to" book.

But a few weeks ago, a friend of mine's daughter was reading this book and was excited to talk about it. She knows what a book fiend I am. She and her mom both assumed I'd read this. They were startled and disappointed to learn otherwise.

So, fine. I'm reading it already. I'm halfway through as we speak. And you know what? It would have been nice if someone had told me that this book is worth reading not because it's a modern classic, and not because "racism is bad, mmkay?", but because it's really well written.

No, not just that. There are plenty of well-written books out there that I don't enjoy. I can't love everything that was ever written. But I wish someone had bothered to tell me that this book has a sense of humor.

UPDATE: It's been several years since I posted that first rather bitter review, and I can now say I've read this book three times and it keeps getting better. I'm probably going to read it again soon, in anticipation of the publication of Lee's next/first book.

I'd like to share here what is probably my favorite sentence from Mockingbird. It's not wise or profound, unlike plenty of other passages from this book. It's just killer funny.

Long ago, in a burst of friendliness, Aunty and Uncle Jimmy produced a son named Henry.

Okay -- my real favorite passage from Mockingbird is this one, which I can relate to because my parents tried to make me stop reading when I was a child. My two parents and five siblings and I all lived together with my grandfather in a smallish house with two TVs that were never turned off; so of course when I complained of headaches, it must have been my books that were to blame.

I never stopped reading. I did start going outside to do so.

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. ( )
4 vote Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 895 (next | show all)
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 LT_Ammar | editTime
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.
added by LT_Ammar | editThe New York Times Book Review, Frank H. Lyell
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."
added by LT_Ammar | editThe Wall Street Journal, Allen Barra
A book that we thought instructed us about the world tells us, instead, about the limitations of Jim Crow liberalism in Maycomb, Alabama.
added by LT_Ammar | editThe New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell
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 LT_Ammar | editThe New York Times, Herbert Mitgang

» Add other authors (12 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
Gaskin, NinaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gry SønstengTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hausser, IsabellePostfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malignon, ClaireTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noli, SuzanneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porta, BaldomeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, RosesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sergel, ChristopherAdaptersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spacek, SissyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoïanov, IsabelleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerlund, MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westrup, Jadwiga P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.
~ Charles Lamb
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)
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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'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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:38 -0400)

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

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