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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Reading of a Wonderful Book by Roses Prichard
Like many youngsters, I was assigned To Kill a Mockingbird to read as a 15 year old. Unlike most, however, the assignment was for speed reading class . . . rather than American Literature.

Don't ever read this book for speed reading class.

I always intended to get back to the book for a more leisurely reading that would allow me to take in the...
Published on Dec 18 2007 by Donald Mitchell

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars To Kill a Mockingbird - quite ok
The novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" takes place in Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930's. The whole story is told by a little girl called Scout who tells her growing-up and what happened in that time. The novel is about different "Mockingbirds", for example Boo Radley who is locked in the Radley's house and is a kind of monster or scapegoat for the people. The...
Published on March 31 2004 by Anna Maiworm


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Reading of a Wonderful Book by Roses Prichard, Dec 18 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)
Like many youngsters, I was assigned To Kill a Mockingbird to read as a 15 year old. Unlike most, however, the assignment was for speed reading class . . . rather than American Literature.

Don't ever read this book for speed reading class.

I always intended to get back to the book for a more leisurely reading that would allow me to take in the obvious brilliance of Harper Lee in more ways. I was pleased to find that my local library offered an unabridged reading by Roses Prichard (an actress with a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Southern California) for Books on Tape.

In the first 15 seconds, I knew I had made a winning choice. Roses Prichard turns Scout (Jean Louise) Finch into a girl you'll feel like you've known all your life. Take the time to find this wonderful recording: You'll discover more in this book than you've ever thought could be in a book describing the thoughts and experiences of a five- to eight-year-old narrator.

Jem and Scout Finch are the only children of Atticus Finch, a highly principled lawyer in the small Southern town of Macomb, Alabama, whose wife died young of a heart attack. Unlike many novelists who cram their story into a few hours or days, Harper Lee showed the good sense to give us the family history and to let the children grow up over a few years before entering the heart of her tale. It's good story-telling and is great for character development.

Jem is five years older than Scout but tolerates her company as long as she doesn't start acting like a girl. That's fine with Scout who prefers overalls to dresses any day. As Jem grows older, he finds himself taking on the role of protector as well.

The children acquire a summer friend, Dill, and decide they want to meet the reclusive Arthur (Boo) Radley, a neighbor who always stays indoors. They have many adventures that will remind you of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher in Injun Joe's cave.

The book is written in pre-Civil-Rights-era Alabama when consciousness of the bad things done to African Americans wasn't very well developed among those who weren't African Americans. The only people in the story who seemed to appreciate the full horror of discrimination are those who are honestly trying to live the Christian life. But even many practicing Christians proved to be blind to their African American neighbors' needs and concerns.

Harper Lee does a fine job of skewering all of those who are hypocrites on the subject of race. She even takes an appropriate shot at northerners who avoid the company of African Americans.

In a way, this book was The Uncle Tom's Cabin of the Civil Rights Movement, developing the consciousness that helped to change some attitudes towards African Americans.

The story also features lots of insights into Southern "justice" of the day -- inside the court, in the jury box, in jail, and in prison. To bring the evils of the attitudes to bear, Harper Lee tells us that it's wrong to kill a mockingbird . . . they only sing for us to enjoy and don't do any harm. By the end of the book, some of those in Macomb begin to feel that way about harmless human beings who do good, as well.

You can learn more about Southern culture and attitudes in the early 1960s by reading this book than by studying a dozen nonfiction texts. Harper Lee got it right. One of the lightning rods for racial tension in those days was unwarranted sexual fear of African-American males. That theme is fully developed through having an African-American be accused of raping a white woman.

But what I think makes this book timeless is its focus on what it means to be a good person . . . the story of Atticus Finch and his struggles with being both a good man and a good father.

But years from now you won't forget Scout: She's one of the great heroines in American literature and an important prototype of what the next generation should have become in loving other people.

Appreciate the untapped potential all around you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deserving classic of modern American literature, July 25 2009
By 
Paul Weiss (Dundas, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)
Fifty years after its initial publication in 1960, "To Kill a Mockingbird" has proven it deserves its place in anyone's list of the finest American classic literature ever written.

Written a scant three years before Martin Luther King awed the world with his magnificent "I have a dream" speech, Harper Lee also stunned the world with a poignant story centered on the unconscionable treatment accorded to the black man in USA's Deep South.

Tom Robinson, a productive, quietly proud and well-spoken black man who by today's standards might even be called an "Uncle Tom", is also cautiously subservient, withdrawn and all too aware of his underwhelming place in the society of Maycomb, Georgia, a sleepy white town in the heartland of America's confederate South.

Tom stands accused of the rape of Mayall Ewell, the 19 year old daughter of a boorish ne'er-do-well white trash family that, to the best recollection of everyone in the town, has never put in a day's work in its collective life. Jeremy Atticus Finch is a gentlemanly white lawyer who, despite the virulent hatred his own community is directing at him, has decided to hold firm to his own convictions about the equality of all men before God and to accept his assignment to the responsibility for Tom's defense at his capital trial for the rape of a white woman - a trial that is expected to be little more than a formality with scant necessity for reference to facts and truth.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is not a legal thriller, although it certainly could have been. Rather, it is a story about human behaviour - kindness and cruelty; bigotry, hatred and prejudice versus acceptance and friendship; humour and pathos in the presence of sadness and dejection. Told from the point of view of Atticus Finch's children, Scout and her older brother Jem, we are witness to their father's poignant heart-warming attempts to teach his children to become the kind of citizens that, fifty years later, are sadly still the exception rather than the rule.

There can be few people (like me) left who haven't had the privilege of either reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" or seeing the movie, but if you are among that small number, do yourself a favour. Read it sooner than later.

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have, March 23 2006
By 
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)
Few books make it to my MUST HAVE LIST. Obviously this book is one of those or I wouldn't be here right now, writing this. Ergo . . . Suffice it to say that TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD is right up there with OF MICE AND MEN and the explosive and jaw-dropping novel, KATZENJAMMER by one Jackson McCrae. But don't take my word for it---read this great book for yourself and see what everyone has been talking about for the last fifty years. This classic is so readable, even for children. To Kill a Mockingbird vividly depicts the racism, prejudice, childhood innocence, and the perseverance of one man to stand up for what he believed in. It is a wonderfully written portrayal of southern American history during its post-slavery time. This is one book I will definitely read again. If you read one book this year, make it TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tightly written with a message for everyone, Aug. 21 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Harper Lee was encouraged to write some of her childhood memories. What in the beginning seems like the story of three childhood friends in depression era Macomb, Alabama, turns out to be packed with insights to the makeup of human kind.

This story is intriguing on many levels from the history of the area to the stereotyping of people. Most of all every turn was a surprise as told in the first person from the view of Scout Finch. And instead of telling the story in a six year old vocabulary she uses an exceptionally large repertoire to describe the people and events. This story is not as slow passed as one may guess from first glance as every remark and every action will be needed for a future action.

A major controversial part of the story is the trial of Tom Robinson. Hoverer this is just a catalyst to help Scout understand the nature of people including her father Atticus and you will find that as important as it is it is just a part of the story with other major characters such as Arthur "Boo" Radley.

Even thought it appears that Scout is the recipient of the insights, I believe we the reader is the real recipient.

I can truly say that this book has changed my outlook in life.

To Kill a Mockingbird (Collector's Edition)

Harper Lee (Up Close)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected Delight !, Sept. 8 2012
By 
Titus Penney (Nova Scotia , Canada) - See all my reviews
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This is not my usual genre book , to start off with. Ive heard of this book a few times over the years and decided I was going to read some of the classics this year. I had no idea what the book was about ,I just started reading it. Even though the book was written as if it were from a kids perspective , I was amazed at the direction the reading took me. There are a lot of mixed emotions you will experience in this book and In my case even some permanent thought changing effects. The focus character would be the kids father who is named Atticus. He is a very mature , moral icon and could be used as a standard of shaping the readers character (at least some considerations).
5 stars. Conclusion , A good read which should be read by people with any genre specifications.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Reading of a Wonderful Book by Roses Prichard, Dec 18 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: To Kill A Mockingbird (Paperback)
Like many youngsters, I was assigned To Kill a Mockingbird to read as a 15 year old. Unlike most, however, the assignment was for speed reading class . . . rather than American Literature.

Don't ever read this book for speed reading class.

I always intended to get back to the book for a more leisurely reading that would allow me to take in the obvious brilliance of Harper Lee in more ways. I was pleased to find that my local library offered an unabridged reading by Roses Prichard (an actress with a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Southern California) for Books on Tape.

In the first 15 seconds, I knew I had made a winning choice. Roses Prichard turns Scout (Jean Louise) Finch into a girl you'll feel like you've known all your life. Take the time to find this wonderful recording: You'll discover more in this book than you've ever thought could be in a book describing the thoughts and experiences of a five- to eight-year-old narrator.

Jem and Scout Finch are the only children of Atticus Finch, a highly principled lawyer in the small Southern town of Macomb, Alabama, whose wife died young of a heart attack. Unlike many novelists who cram their story into a few hours or days, Harper Lee showed the good sense to give us the family history and to let the children grow up over a few years before entering the heart of her tale. It's good story-telling and is great for character development.

Jem is five years older than Scout but tolerates her company as long as she doesn't start acting like a girl. That's fine with Scout who prefers overalls to dresses any day. As Jem grows older, he finds himself taking on the role of protector as well.

The children acquire a summer friend, Dill, and decide they want to meet the reclusive Arthur (Boo) Radley, a neighbor who always stays indoors. They have many adventures that will remind you of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher in Injun Joe's cave.

The book is written in pre-Civil-Rights-era Alabama when consciousness of the bad things done to African Americans wasn't very well developed among those who weren't African Americans. The only people in the story who seemed to appreciate the full horror of discrimination are those who are honestly trying to live the Christian life. But even many practicing Christians proved to be blind to their African American neighbors' needs and concerns.

Harper Lee does a fine job of skewering all of those who are hypocrites on the subject of race. She even takes an appropriate shot at northerners who avoid the company of African Americans.

In a way, this book was The Uncle Tom's Cabin of the Civil Rights Movement, developing the consciousness that helped to change some attitudes towards African Americans.

The story also features lots of insights into Southern "justice" of the day -- inside the court, in the jury box, in jail, and in prison. To bring the evils of the attitudes to bear, Harper Lee tells us that it's wrong to kill a mockingbird . . . they only sing for us to enjoy and don't do any harm. By the end of the book, some of those in Macomb begin to feel that way about harmless human beings who do good, as well.

You can learn more about Southern culture and attitudes in the early 1960s by reading this book than by studying a dozen nonfiction texts. Harper Lee got it right. One of the lightning rods for racial tension in those days was unwarranted sexual fear of African-American males. That theme is fully developed through having an African-American be accused of raping a white woman.

But what I think makes this book timeless is its focus on what it means to be a good person . . . the story of Atticus Finch and his struggles with being both a good man and a good father.

But years from now you won't forget Scout: She's one of the great heroines in American literature and an important prototype of what the next generation should have become in loving other people.

Appreciate the untapped potential all around you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well done, Sept. 24 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Hardcover)
I was surprised at how well all the elements came together for this film. Obviously the main cohesion is centered on Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) and his relationship with his children, Scout (Mary Badham) and Jem (Philip Alford). I would classify this as one of Gregory peck's best movies. It almost had to be shot in black and whit to have the feel needed in the all but black and white movie.

Scout and Jem know very little about their neighbor `Boo' (Robert Duvall.) They have heard and made up strange stories. They spend time daring each other and their summer friend, to go up to the neighbor house as it holds some mysterious crazed person. Through the movie many odd things happen such as a tree that mysteriously offers a series of objects from marbles to a watch, among other things. What do we really know about our neighbors? Watch as the mystery unfolds. Moreover, what will they find out in this slice of life in the Depression-era South.

To Kill a Mockingbird
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, Heartbreaking, and Timeless, July 18 2010
By 
Debra Purdy Kong (British Columbia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: To Kill A Mockingbird (Paperback)
I had put off writing this review for a long time because, really, what can one say about this memorable, widely popular coming-of-age story except that there is a good reason To Kill a Mockingbird was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the U.S.

For you contrarians who haven't read the book, this is the story of the Finch family told from daughter Scout's point of view. Scout's attorney father, Atticus, is defending a black man accused of raping a young white woman in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. The story is set years before the civil rights movement began, and the plot is a catalyst for a novel that is so much more than a scathing commentary on racism in the deep south. This is a gripping, gritty portrayal about growing up amidst the fury, ignorance, intolerance, and fear that fueled peoples' lives and thoughts, and still does, to varying degrees.

Like many people, I first read this novel through our school's curriculum about forty years ago. Five years ago, my daughter read it in her high school English class and she loved it too. This novel is timeless, not only for the poignant, beautiful language and heartbreaking conflict, but for the relevancy of its message. I've read a lot of novels in my time, but I still remember this one clearly--many people do--for good reason.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Reading of a Wonderful Book by Roses Prichard, Dec 18 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Like many youngsters, I was assigned To Kill a Mockingbird to read as a 15 year old. Unlike most, however, the assignment was for speed reading class . . . rather than American Literature.

Don't ever read this book for speed reading class.

I always intended to get back to the book for a more leisurely reading that would allow me to take in the obvious brilliance of Harper Lee in more ways. I was pleased to find that my local library offered an unabridged reading by Roses Prichard (an actress with a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Southern California) for Books on Tape.

In the first 15 seconds, I knew I had made a winning choice. Roses Prichard turns Scout (Jean Louise) Finch into a girl you'll feel like you've known all your life. Take the time to find this wonderful recording: You'll discover more in this book than you've ever thought could be in a book describing the thoughts and experiences of a five- to eight-year-old narrator.

Jem and Scout Finch are the only children of Atticus Finch, a highly principled lawyer in the small Southern town of Macomb, Alabama, whose wife died young of a heart attack. Unlike many novelists who cram their story into a few hours or days, Harper Lee showed the good sense to give us the family history and to let the children grow up over a few years before entering the heart of her tale. It's good story-telling and is great for character development.

Jem is five years older than Scout but tolerates her company as long as she doesn't start acting like a girl. That's fine with Scout who prefers overalls to dresses any day. As Jem grows older, he finds himself taking on the role of protector as well.

The children acquire a summer friend, Dill, and decide they want to meet the reclusive Arthur (Boo) Radley, a neighbor who always stays indoors. They have many adventures that will remind you of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher in Injun Joe's cave.

The book is written in pre-Civil-Rights-era Alabama when consciousness of the bad things done to African Americans wasn't very well developed among those who weren't African Americans. The only people in the story who seemed to appreciate the full horror of discrimination are those who are honestly trying to live the Christian life. But even many practicing Christians proved to be blind to their African American neighbors' needs and concerns.

Harper Lee does a fine job of skewering all of those who are hypocrites on the subject of race. She even takes an appropriate shot at northerners who avoid the company of African Americans.

In a way, this book was The Uncle Tom's Cabin of the Civil Rights Movement, developing the consciousness that helped to change some attitudes towards African Americans.

The story also features lots of insights into Southern "justice" of the day -- inside the court, in the jury box, in jail, and in prison. To bring the evils of the attitudes to bear, Harper Lee tells us that it's wrong to kill a mockingbird . . . they only sing for us to enjoy and don't do any harm. By the end of the book, some of those in Macomb begin to feel that way about harmless human beings who do good, as well.

You can learn more about Southern culture and attitudes in the early 1960s by reading this book than by studying a dozen nonfiction texts. Harper Lee got it right. One of the lightning rods for racial tension in those days was unwarranted sexual fear of African-American males. That theme is fully developed through having an African-American be accused of raping a white woman.

But what I think makes this book timeless is its focus on what it means to be a good person . . . the story of Atticus Finch and his struggles with being both a good man and a good father.

But years from now you won't forget Scout: She's one of the great heroines in American literature and an important prototype of what the next generation should have become in loving other people.

Appreciate the untapped potential all around you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who could not like this book?, April 15 2007
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)
Like many great novels, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is a book to die for... This fictional novel was written in the era of racism, the infamous 1960s. Though written when racial discrimination was commonly accepted, it radically imposes the thought of tolerance. Scout Finch is an aggressive, non-effeminate, little girl always looking for adventures that lurks throughout Maycomb County. Scout's curiosity leads her brother and herself into trying to catch a glimpse of the mysterious, Boo Radley. Being discreet as possible, Boo leaves subtle clues and gifts for the two within a log tree. Atticus Finch, Scout and Jem's father, forbids them to continue bothering poor Boo Radley. After being assigned the attorney for Tom Robinson, a persecuted African-American for rape, Atticus is tied up with a perilous task which burdens his family from the town. Sought as the "nigger-lovers", Atticus preserves his moral composure and does resists from violence, as the innocence of Scout and Jem slowly deteriorates. Atticus's unique personality understands the world's good and evil due to his experiences. As the novel progresses, Scout and Jem learn to appreciate the good in people and sympathize for the bad. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, is a Pulitzer-winning book-and why? It continues to be a classic because it not only displays to everyone the rational and compassionate side of human-nature, but teaches one to appreciate humans from all aspects. Given as a gift, assigned for a class, or bought, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is a piece of American history and should be read by anyone who enjoys literature at its finest. Of the three novels I've read for class lately (OF MICE AND MEN by Steinbeck and KATZENJAMMER by McCrae), this was my favorite. While I enjoyed the others, this one really has heart and will be around for a long time.
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To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Mass Market Paperback - Oct. 11 1988)
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