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

by Harper Lee

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
55,19011098 (4.4)2 / 2145
  1. 302
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (loriephillips)
  2. 256
    The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (dele2451, rosylibrarian, chrisharpe)
  3. 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)
  4. 268
    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. 182
    Snow Falling on Cedars: A Novel by David Guterson (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: Very different novels exploring similar themes
  6. 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)
  7. 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.
  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. 102
    Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (bnbookgirl)
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 51
    Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (chrisharpe)
  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
    Home by Toni Morrison (Louve_de_mer)
    Louve_de_mer: Pour les problèmes de ségrégation raciale aux États-Unis.
  15. 62
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (LKAYC)
  16. 51
    A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines (rarm)
  17. 84
    A Painted House by John Grisham (infiniteletters)
  18. 62
    Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence (kxlly)
  19. 74
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (aamirq)
  20. 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.

(see all 41 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1057 (next | show all)
Scout Finch and her brother Jem are the children of Atticus Finch, a lawyer and state legislator in a small Alabama county seat in the mid-1930s. They and their summer friend Dill are obsessed with getting the Finchs’ eccentric and reclusive neighbor “Boo” Radley to come out and show himself to them. In spite of Atticus’s stern disapproval, Scout, her brother and their friend spend the next two summers constructing elaborate scary fantasies about him while concocting plots to lure him out into the open.

Their childish fantasies are overshadowed by the harsh racial climate of the first half of the twentieth century when Atticus is assigned to defend a black man who’s been falsely accused of raping a white woman. The courtroom drama takes up most of the rest of the novel, until the end when the author ties all her themes on the evils of prejudice together. It is little wonder that this 1960 novel has become part of the cannon of American literature.

Another theme that particularly stood out to me in re-reading the book this time was Gentility. Without a hereditary aristocracy, nominally egalitarian American society has substituted the models of meritocracy or manners as a way of defining social standing. The model strongly presented in To kill a mockingbird is that of manners. If you behave as a gentleman, then you are one. Atticus Finch is the prime example of a gentleman, and the reader following his daughter’s reports cannot help but admire him. Unlike his older sister, Alexandra, Atticus gives no sign that decent from the county’s first settlers is a measure of social position, and he refuses to heed her pleadings to dismiss his black cook and housekeeper, Calpurnia. He describes her as, a faithful member of this family, and praises her for the good moral education that she has given his children after the death of his wife. He treats all he encounters with empathy and courtesy, whether it is the reclusive Radleys, the black members of the community, a viciously haranguing morphine addicted old woman, the man he defends, or his accusers. His polar opposite is Bob Ewell, the father of the alleged rape victim, the poorly behaved patriarch of a brood of a half-dozen or so ill kempt, uneducated, unfed, and frequently beaten children, living next to the town dump, just around the bend from the black community. Bob Ewell personifies “white trash.”

“Trash” is the opposite end of the white community in Macomb County from the Finch family. While Atticus does most of his child rearing by example in an unusually didactic passage from chapter 23 he lectures his children:

“As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from. That white man is trash.”

Atticus was speaking so quietly his last word crashed on our ears. I looked up, and his face was vehement. ( )
  MaowangVater | Sep 22, 2017 |
I do not need to read the book to rate it for Goodreads. It is my all-time favorite book and has been since it was assigned to me in high school as part of an honors English class. Yet for the very first time, I had been putting off picking it up again because of the way I came into possession of this particular copy. Bittersweet memories of a person who will never read the book, who will never understand the beauty in perfect writing, and who will never know the feeling this book opens in one's soul. The person doesn't like reading. It was assigned to him as part of an online undergraduate course that he decided to drop. He was glad he never had to crack this book's cover. His lack of motivation broke my heart because I know very well the world to which he closed himself off.

I have no intention of finishing this review. It will remain as is...horribly incomplete and stand-offish. Read this book. You will understand my motives. For it is this book, and not the bible, that moves me to treat others as I would wish them to treat me. Yes, it is that powerful. ( )
  Christina_E_Mitchell | Sep 9, 2017 |
un classico, che tutti dovrebbero leggere. se non fosse controproducente come proposta io renderei obbligatorio far leggere questo libro agli studenti. dopo questo libro vedi tutto in modo diverso e più giusto ( )
  SirJo | Sep 4, 2017 |
I haven't read this book since I was in high school and that was over a decade ago. I love this book so much. I think this novel is a jewel to be part of the American Literature History. This novel is truly a gift to those who call themselves bookworms. ( )
  nu-bibliophile | Aug 17, 2017 |
It's good to read the book which has been popular for so many years. ( )
  zhliu0124 | Aug 7, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 1057 (next | show all)
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.
 
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
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
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.

» see all 20 descriptions

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