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To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Perennial…
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To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) (original 1960; edition 2006)

by Harper Lee

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
58,580117212 (4.39)2 / 2209
Member:EmelieAwkwardlyAlive
Title:To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
Authors:Harper Lee
Info:Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2006), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Work details

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Author) (1960)

  1. 3013
    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)
  2. 256
    The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (dele2451, rosylibrarian, chrisharpe)
  3. 182
    Snow Falling on Cedars: A Novel by David Guterson (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: Very different novels exploring similar themes
  4. 259
    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)
  5. 184
    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 (atimco)
    atimco: 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. 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. 112
    Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (bnbookgirl)
  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. 71
    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.
  11. 72
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (LKAYC)
  12. 51
    A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines (rarm)
  13. 84
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (aamirq)
  14. 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.
  15. 51
    Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (chrisharpe)
  16. 62
    Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence (kxlly)
  17. 51
    Home by Toni Morrison (Louve_de_mer)
    Louve_de_mer: Pour les problèmes de ségrégation raciale aux États-Unis.
  18. 84
    A Painted House by John Grisham (infiniteletters)
  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
    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 41 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1115 (next | show all)
Another classic novel known for it's infamous american literature taught to students in school. The book also has many hidden messages in it teaching students deeper values
  Rachael_Dorsch | Dec 11, 2018 |
On the heels of seeing a preview of the new Broadway adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, I decided to re-read the book to refresh my memory and gain some insight into the rationale for certain dramatic techniques playwright Aaron Sorkin employs in shaping this classic of American literature for the stage. This is primarily a review of the book, and secondarily a thumbnail review of the play and some of its key elements.

The book is divided in two parts, with Part One, largely episodic in nature, introducing its characters and painting the portrait of life in a rather poor, sleepy town of the American South in the 1930’s, as seen through the eyes of a child (Scout). Lee has likely reconstructed the world of her own early years, with the vignettes involving Scout, her older brother Jem, and their friend Dill evoking, with a fine sense of humor, a palpable wistfulness and nostalgia for the innocence and childhood of a long gone era.

Lee's characterization of Dill is a wonderful example of how she brings a character to life: his offbeat ideas, stories, and observations, and her sublime capsule summary of him: "...a pocker Merlin, whose head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings, and quaint fancies."

While there are hints of the looming Tom Robinson trial, and the conflict, prejudice, injustice, revenge, and mayhem that ensues, Part One concentrates on beautifully capturing the era, and establishing the relationships between Scout and Jem, and with their father Atticus Finch and their housekeeper Calpurnia.

Rather than adhere to this structure, in which the entirety of the courtroom drama takes place in Part Two, Sorkin, for understandable dramatic purposes, shuffles the deck a bit, intermingling the early stages of the trial into Act One building its tension across the entirety of the play. While this results in many early scene shifts between the Finch house and the courtroom (a bit distracting at first), the decision soon pays off as we see characters and relationships fleshed out alongside the building momentum of Tom Robinson’s trial.

In Part Two of the book, Lee brilliantly unleashes a torrent of emotions with the children learning hard lessons through Tom Robinson’s trial (and his subsequent fate), and the vengeful actions of Bob Ewell; and some tender lessons in the touching denouement involving Boo Radley, which provides a most satisfying conclusion. And though this book is not quite in the category of Bildungsroman, we do see Jem assertively edging towards manhood, and Scout slowly, but surely, growing up.

As narrator, Scout is the central character in the book, but the play subtly shifts the focus to Atticus, with Jeff Daniels performing ably in an understated role of quiet strength. The play casts adults for the roles of Jem, Scout, and Dill. Here the “children” share the narration duties (occasionally speaking directly to the audience) though Scout naturally carries the bulk of that task; and then, of course they each play their respective roles in the course of the action. At the start I was skeptical of this casting, but it does work very well, each with the nuanced acting skills to pull it off.

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, recently voted America’s favorite novel, provides a beautiful and powerful reading experience. And with the inspired but judicious adjustments to the source material having been applied by Aaron Sorkin, it may well become a classic of the Broadway stage. ( )
  ghr4 | Dec 8, 2018 |
(Original review, 2004-08-27)

There was a programme on the radio a few years ago which took a harsher view of the book. To summarise, Atticus Finch tried to win his case by substituting one prejudice (racism) with another (low-class women are loose and predatory). Beneath the charm, nostalgia and so on, there is a moral conflict if you like or confusion if you don't like. It's interesting that a female writer should elevate a male father-figure and denigrate a female alleged victim of rape. These are things to ponder, as a good play or novel should give us, and it isn't a children's book unless "Animal Farm" is also a children's book.

I regarded this book as a tiresome wander down a garden path of implausibility until I read it again once I had become a father. Atticus Finch is both cynical and high-minded at the time, his defense of Tom Robinson essentially consisting entirely of letting the prosecution's key witness destroy her whole family's credibility in open court then letting his client (probably in a well-rehearsed manner) so that the Ewells' dirty laundry gets further airing, while on cross-examination Tom's greatest mistake is to say he "felt right sorry for her". The trial and its outcome being pretty much predestined, Atticus then puts a brave face on it (even while his face gets spit upon by Bob Ewell).

I re-read the book from the perspective that Atticus conducts himself, at all times, as though his children are watching him. He really seems to act like a man on constant public parade, and sure enough, in Maycomb he probably IS just that. But he turns a legal defeat into a moral victory and inspires by example. That's why Scout can write about him as this towering example of moral rectitude. To her, he is. To himself, he's probably a fraud, but in the best of causes a fraud. He can't abide what's out there, but he doesn't give in to bitterness or nastiness the way Bob Ewell does. His quiet example is something we could all aspire towards. I think the book is about human broken-ness & frailty. It is about the choices we all make, be we black or white, male or female, young or old. Some of those choices are wise and good, some are bad; some are made willingly and some perhaps forced upon us for a myriad of reasons. Above all, it is about the need to show mercy and compassion in our dealings with ourselves and with others. (Something many of us could pay heed to today in a very broken 20th century). It is a phenomenally powerful, moving and insightful book and Ms. Lee did an astonishing job as a first time novelist.

[2018 EDIT: There's also the ending; I just hope someday my children hold me in the kind of respect the Finch children hold for Atticus. A miscarriage of justice is mitigated by a sidestepping of the law in a case it is not in the public interest to prosecute. That's what would be killing a mockingbird.] ( )
1 vote antao | Dec 4, 2018 |
It really stands worthy of the name one of the best classics..
Point of view is what impressed me so much.. It's like, I saw the whole thing from a child's eyes.. Spectacular ride it was.. :) ( )
  sharath_somashekar | Nov 18, 2018 |
My favorite book ( )
  mollygerry | Nov 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 1115 (next | show all)
Mockingbird is not necessarily as widely admired among scholars of US literature as it is among its fans. I once enraged an audience of very nice book-lovers at the Cheltenham literary festival by suggesting that Mockingbird was just the teensiest bit overrated. There are many reasons for this assessment, not least the feeling that Atticus Finch’s famous moral rectitude is, in point of fact, disturbingly flexible. He tells Scout: “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.” That’s all well and good, and a fine American sentiment that goes at least back to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. But part of Mark Twain’s radical move in that novel is to make his hero an illiterate backwoods boy; Lee’s hero is a virtuous, middle-class white man, full of noblesse oblige to the black people he defends (who revere him for it), but who doesn’t bat an eyelid at the common knowledge that the illiterate, white-trash Mayella Ewell is regularly raped and beaten by her father.

added by SnootyBaronet | editThe Guardian
 
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, HarperAuthorprimary 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
Hausser, IsabellePostfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hewgill, JodyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malignon, ClaireTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noli, SuzanneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porta, BaldomeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, RosesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sønsteng, GryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spacek, SissyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoïanov, IsabelleTranslatorsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
"To Kill a Mockingbird" was my absolute favorite books to read in school. I would maybe wait to have students read this until middle High School but I think it can be a great learning experience for students. The topics of this book raises awareness about rape, racial inequality, and family. The way that my teacher in High School set up her lesson was that she had everyone in her classroom dress up like a character from a book and make everyone talk and act like that given character. It was fun to watch what everyone wanted to dress like so it will for sure go into my teacher toolbox.
Haiku summary
Scout recalls her youth
Mad dogs, rabid mob threaten
Lawyer Dad defends.
(pickupsticks)
Dad says it's O.K
To kill a blue jay. But not
A mockingbird. Why?
(pickupsticks)

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)

(see all 13 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)

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