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To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)

by Harper Lee

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: To Kill a Mockingbird (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
65,967130711 (4.38)2 / 2346
The explosion of racial hate in an Alabama town is viewed by a little girl whose father defends a black man accused of rape.
  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. 279
    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. 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)
  5. 173
    Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: Very different novels exploring similar themes
  6. 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.
  7. 101
    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.
  8. 102
    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
    Goodnight Mister 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. 51
    A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines (rarm)
  12. 84
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (aamirq)
  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. 51
    Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (chrisharpe)
  15. 62
    Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence (kxlly)
  16. 51
    Home by Toni Morrison (Louve_de_mer)
    Louve_de_mer: Pour les problèmes de ségrégation raciale aux États-Unis.
  17. 51
    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.
  18. 62
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (LKAYC)
  19. 84
    A Painted House by John Grisham (infiniteletters)
  20. 52
    Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Harper Lee hat nur zwei Bücher veröffentlicht. Das zweite - "Gehe hin, stelle einen Wächter" - erst mit 90 Jahren - auch wenn es schon früher geschrieben wurde. Es war die literarische Sensation des Jahres 2015.

(see all 45 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1233 (next | show all)
One of the true classics. ( )
  DAVIDGOTTS | May 10, 2021 |
Believe it or not, this was my first time reading To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve never watched any adaptations of it, and I didn’t know the story.

The story is set in Alabama in the 1930’s, and it was published in 1960. We read from the perspective of Jean Louise (Scout) Finch, remembering her life as young girl. Her story starts when she’s almost 6 years old and I think she’s 9 or 10 by the end. The bulk of the story focuses on Scout’s experiences growing up and gives a strong feel for the setting and culture she lived in. It’s told with a lot of pointed humor as we see people’s behavior through the eyes of a child. Meanwhile, there are bigger issues going on that she isn’t directly involved in and doesn’t fully understand, but they have an impact on her as she tries in her own way to reason out what’s right and wrong and why people behave the way they do.

This was a great, readable story and I can understand why it’s such a beloved classic. As is common with classics, there’s maybe a little too much blatant foreshadowing for my tastes. It’s easy to guess what’s going to happen, but it was told well enough that I didn’t mind too much and I still didn’t know exactly how things would happen. There is a strong anti-racism message, as well as a more general message about treating everybody fairly and with dignity, and not assuming the worst about somebody just because they’re different from you. The most obvious and poignant message was about Tom Robinson of course, but there was a similar message in the form of Arthur (“Boo”) Radley. Two mockingbirds, one killed, one not, both suffering because of the ignorance and prejudice of people who knew nothing of substance about them yet thought they knew all they needed to know. I imagine things would have turned out differently if Tom’s and Arthur’s skin colors had been reversed, but then the Radley’s wouldn’t have lived so close to the Finch’s so the story wouldn’t have worked.

I really liked Atticus, the father. He was the model of what I imagine a great father would be like. I was less fond of Jem, Scout’s brother, mostly because his behavior seemed so erratic and hot-headed. I know he was a pre-teen boy struggling to understand and deal with all the issues surrounding him while also having to watch out for a little sister, and I’m sure he also had conflicting influences that we didn’t really see since we weren’t in his head. I just never developed much sympathy for him. I did of course like Scout a lot. We were in her head, so she was easy to understand and sympathize with, and her commentary on things made me laugh. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | May 3, 2021 |
To Kill a Mockingbird is about two children named Scout and Jem being innocent children who aren't aware of evil, prejudice, and hatred that they will encounter as they grow up into adults. Not only is this something that will keep the students engaged due to its plot but also can be used in the classroom to teach students about the past. It can help emphasize and put into perspective what life was like growing up in those times. ( )
  Brooke115 | Apr 30, 2021 |
This Pulitzer winning novel is a classic in American literature told through the lens of six year-old Jean Louise Finch. Her father, Atticus Finch, is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a white women. This story is generally recommended for middle and high school students and presents a wonderful opportunity for them to explore the presence of racism and stereotypes present and how they impact unfair issuance of justice in the court system. ( )
  amassa1994 | Apr 25, 2021 |
I'm very late to game for my first time reading this, and I sort of expected to be disappointed, but I was not. This is a really lovely book. I feel like it'll have been reviewed to death by writers better than me, so I'll just say that Sissy Spacek's narration was also lovely, and whether you want to read this on the page or listen to the audiobook, you can't go wrong either way. ( )
  jlweiss | Apr 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 1233 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lee, Harperprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blackmore, Ruth BentonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brouwer, AafkeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Agostino Schanzer, AmaliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Darling, SallyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edinga, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elster, MagliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
French, AlbertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaskin, NinaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hausser, IsabellePostfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Healy, Timothy S.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hemmerechts, Kristiensecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hewgill, JodyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kooman, KoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamb, CharlesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lualdi, Frank P.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malignon, ClaireTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Millman, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nissen, RudolfEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noli, SuzanneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pines, Ned L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porta, BaldomeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, RosesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, KatherineIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sønsteng, GryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, ShirleyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spacek, SissyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoïanov, IsabelleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerlund, MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westrup, Jadwiga P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Andrewsecondary 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)

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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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)

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