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8 of 8 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 I wasnt inspired and am unsure of what the fuss was about??!
The main story of "To Kill a Mocking Bird" tells the tale of Jem and Scout Finch, brother and sister and children of lawyer Atticus. When a young man is accused of the rape of a white woman, Atticus agrees, amidst tremendous controversy, to defend the accused in the town's court of law. During the lead up to the case Scout and Jem have to tolerate racial slurs and insults...
Published on Oct. 22 2003 by rachel543


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8 of 8 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 127,000 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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5 of 5 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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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
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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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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 50 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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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 127,000 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Simple, short, deep, June 19 2015
It is always difficult to judge a book that is considered an undisputed masterpiece of modern fiction, a modern classic. I don’t even try. I just want to try to summarize in a few words what this book left to me.
It’s surprising that a book of fifty years ago “sounds” so modern while reading, especially if the events described are from decades earlier. It’s a quite short and uncomplicated novel that you can read and enjoy at any age.
The narrative voice is that of a little girl, and as she tells us the trivial facts of her daily life, she assists to events bigger than her, but she deals them with the simple wisdom and innocence that only a child can have. And so a racist incident in the thirties of the twentieth century, a racism that was still a sad reality in the time of the writing of the novel and that unfortunately partly still is today, becomes an opportunity to portray an overview of the southern United States, where things happen as everybody expects and where the little light of an almost heroic gesture at the end of the novel illuminates a resigned and disillusioned reality.

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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4.0 out of 5 stars from FictionZeal.com re: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, June 14 2015
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)
Scout Finch is our young protagonist in this coming of age story during the Great Depression. She lives with her father, Atticus and older brother Jem. Their mother died when Scout was only two years old. The two kids befriend Dill, a youngster who spends his summers in the neighborhood of Maycomb, Alabama. They play well together, and one of their favorite games is playacting the reclusive Radley family. The Radley place is very spooky, made even spookier with the retelling of stories about the family. The kids begin to find small little ‘gifts’ in the knothole of a tree on the Radley property.

Atticus is a lawyer and they are doing fairly well compared to many during the depression. The community is primarily white, and neighbors are shocked when Atticus agrees to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who’d been accused of raping a white woman. He is held in a local jail as the trial begins and a mob forms as people have their minds set and want to hang him.

Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 1961 for To Kill a Mockingbird. It was the only book published by Harper Lee until now. On July 14, there will be a long-awaited sequel called Go Set a Watchman. I liked all the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird and I loved the strength shown by Atticus and how he influenced his two children in the face of opposition. The beginning was fun – children will be children after all. Their antics, although not admirable, were fairly innocent. This is wonderfully told historical fiction set in the Deep South during one of the hardest times America has gone through. Rating: 4 out of 5.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read it again for the first time, March 19 2015
By 
Linda Pfeiffer - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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I read or rather reread To Kill a Mockingbird in anticipation of the newly discovered manuscript by Harper Lee. I also watched the movie again. I was amazed how tightly the screen play stuck to the book, including the best known speeches by Atticus and Scout. But there is no proper critique of To Kill a Mockingbird except to acknowledge Harper Lee's genius and writing skills and move on. Though it has been over fifty years since she wrote this story, the subject matter is totally current today. The story is about two young children, a girl named Scout and a boy named Jem, living in a southern town with their widowed father, Atticus Finch, in the 1930's. Atticus is a small town lawyer who defends a black man of raping a white woman. The townspeople are outraged. And some of them become very threatening not just to Tom, but to Atticus and his family. Tom Robinson, the accused, takes the stand in his own defense. The evidence proves that he could not have committed the crime. The woman who claims she was the victim, is caught in her lies. And yet, Tom is convicted by the all white, all male jury. If that was a spoiler I'm sorry, but I won't write any further about Tom's fate. The children are caught up in the racial hatred. The childish innocent games they play are never the same.
Although Harper Lee wrote this book in 1962, during the civil rights movement, To Kill a Mockingbird, is as current today in some ways. I think of
Rodney King, Trevon Martin, and the recent events in Ferguson. The disparity between black men and white men in U.S. prisons, this is still with us some fifty years later.. We now say the N word instead of the offensive word used in the book but just because we don`t utter it doesn`t mean the sentiments are gone. No wonder this is a classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Seminal Classic, Nov. 22 2013
By 
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is a seminal classic, and earth shaking. The book was, in it's time, a prophetic voice speaking against racism in the southern USA. It won the Pulitzer Prize for literature. And it is still a magnificent and excellent book to read and still morally pertinent.

The story is told from a child's eye view and it is about growing up in a small town. A black man is accused of raping a white women and he is obviously wrongfully convicted. The court case puts the intuitional racism of that society on trial. The Mockingbird is an allegory of the people who die in the story. The Mockingbird mimics or sings the songs of other birds. In the story a few people sing the song of that society (As such they represent it) and die. And there is an attempted murder on the narrator who sings the most.

The characters are enduring and it not only brings you back to the innocence of childhood, but challenges you with the injustice of hatred. This book is set in a time and place, but the issues of racism, hypocrisy, and injustice are universal. Pick up and read.
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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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