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5 of 5 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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5 of 5 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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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 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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars To Kill A Mockingbird And Me, Sept. 3 2012
By 
Scoopriches (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)
It is hard to describe this book for me.

To start with, To Kill A Mockingbird written by Harper Lee, is considered by most to be a classic and it deserves this status. The story first came to my consciousness when I saw the video tape of the movie version in a store. Reading the back of the case, the tingle of interest grew. Shortly after, I saw the movie on tv and it filled me. The book had to be mine, and it had to be mine now.

Flashforward 15 years and I finally bought the book. Yes, I move swiftly sometimes.

Flashforward two years and I finally read the book. I am decisive, I think.

The book is told in a flashback from the POV of Scout, a little girl growing up in a small town in the deep south during the depression. She lives with her older brother and her widowed father, and hangs out with her brother's friend and her housekeeper. She knows total love for her father, Atticus, who is a principled lawyer doing what he can for his family, society, and justice.

As time passes, Scout becomes aware of a growing disquiet in the town. A trial is coming. Her father is the defense lawyer. Tensions are everywhere. The trial occurs. Truths are ignored. Scout learns about the human condition. And a child gets a broken arm.

All these elements are essential to the journey.

Scout is a child you want to hold, hug, talk and play with. She has a wondrous view of life and an intellect expanding beyond her years. Her father's sense of helping and healing permeates into Scout's being. She attempts, on her first day of school, to assist the teacher in understanding social structure of the class. Scout views her actions as simply being nice. The teacher does not. To complicate her existence, Scout can already read, thanks to Atticus teaching her. The teacher's disapproval to this bothers her since she loves to read and it is something Scout can do with Atticus. Time spent with her father. Quality time decades before the term was invented. The honesty in the the scene is counterbalanced by Atticus's solution. Tell the teacher a little white lie. Scout is happy and fine.

As the story progresses to the trial, Scout's worldview grows and widens. Things we as adults know and understand, Scout must now grapple with. Prejudice exists as a way of life. But it is not Scout's way of life. Violence is the natural way of solving a problem. To Scout, it is frightening.

The pain of the ending is multiple. The trial just hurts. People who know better, do not do better. The lessons, the words, the thoughts make no difference. This trail could happen today and the pain would be the same. In the book, it is a black man on trial, today it could be a homosexual. Hatred of the other no matter what the reason is a fundamental loathing of mine. Homosexuals are still targeted by rancid politicians and public figures who have no morals. I refuse to call them religious figures since there is nothing religious about them.

When the journey ends, the next pain starts. It is over. Scout is still out their, growing up, living her life, but we don't see that. Scout. Atticus. Jem. Dill. Calpurnia. Boo. They are all fixed in time. World War Two has not occurred and the Civil Rights movement is far far away. But I want to see what happened to them all, every happy moment and inevitable heartbreak that followed. In my imagination, we know in this universe that Scout and Dill would get married after she became a lawyer. Her child would be called Atticus. Life would be better with them around. I want to live in a world with them in it.

I am still kicking myself that I took so long to read what is now one of my top five books. The love of the characters against the evil of the world permeates every word, every thought, every action. Everything.

Everyone should read this book. We would all better for it.

Scout: "Atticus, he was real nice...."

Atticus: "Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them."

Thank you Harper Lee. You made me cry.

Scoopriches
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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 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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