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on March 27, 2017
An American classic. I'm sure there are better, literary reviews than what I would be able to give so I'll let you spend your time reading them. I would like to say . . . This is a wonderful book to help explain the early to mid 20th century life in a rural southern town. There is good and bad in all of us sprinkled with a bit of ignorance and preconceptions.
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on May 18, 2016
Ms Lee's masterpiece deserves many reads. I just finished it a third time - decades after I first read it. Her original editor was a genius to encourage her to dump her first manuscript and expand the childhood memories part into a new book. She then gifted us with wise insights into multiple 'universal truths' on human nature, history, civilization, barbarism and more, through the feisty voice of an innocent child living in a remarkable, exciting story. Her 'rewrite' is a literary work of profound brilliance that should be lauded for centuries to come...for as long as our own civilization remains and beyond. Her sister, Alice, was right, though.
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on January 1, 2017
I read To Kill a Mockingbird many years ago, as had the other members of my book club. We chose to do a reread as we all had a positive feeling about the book, but not exact recollection of details. I was thrilled that we had. Harper Lee brings you into this small southern town through the eyes of a child growing up in the South during the early part of the 1900's. Her descriptions are wonderful and as a reader I found myself in that town, seeing the details and feeling to powerful emotions that threatened to tear apart their life and the established social strictures that were engrained in the community, along with challenging the morals of the people involved. Aticus Finch brings forward in his quiet way an understanding of true morality and a family values. A must read or reread.
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on April 20, 2015
To Kill A Mockingbird was a great hit when it was published, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. It's deceptively simplistic narration by a very young girl, Scout, belies its examination of prejudice, injustice, and the effect of the depression on a small southern town. It shows a child's reaction to being chastised for being far advanced for her age in a one size fits all educational system which underscores a theme of a society frozen in time and beliefs and that society's need to repress and try to destroy anything that challenges the status quo. Far more than this, it shows how even with the highest of morality and integrity how difficult it is to stay true to one's moral standards when they go counter to society as a whole.

I believe that this novel is even more important today than it was at the time when it was written since it reflects, although in a different manner, the racial tensions and unspoken prejudices that we are seeing at the present time. The role of African Americans is crucial to the survival of this society but as in The Help, the divide is staggering. Scout is fortunate that she and her brother, Jem, live in an enlightened household where their father, a single parent, is an intellectual who appreciates the African American housekeeper who has raised his children allowing him to pursue his legal and political career. The book does show the prejudice of the day in an horrific event and its consequences. It also suggests strongly that some of the white people of the town are married to their preconceived beliefs that Blacks are inferior and deserve less, while others believe that this is unjust and unfair, but are afraid to express their dislike for the treatment of African Americans. As such, they feel that Atticus expresses the moral high road that they are afraid to tread publicly.

As the novel unfolds we see the children come of age and get differing perspectives on events and explore the many facets of neighbors on the block and the differences between the treatment of the races, the tensions between the rich and poor, the problems of people fighting physical and mental challenges, and child abuse. There are so many deep issues packed into this slim novel that its simple narration by a young girl involves the reader into deciphering the depth of the issues and moral judgements.
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on April 25, 2015
This is probably my all-time favorite book. I had to read it in high school; and unlike other required reading, I actually DID read this as a teenage boy. Of course, many of the topics, nuances and issues were over my head at the time; but I did enjoy the book. Later, after I became an adult and an avid reader, I remembered the book and that I liked it. So I read it again, with a new older perspective than my 15 year old perspective the first time I read it.

I liked it even more. There was so much that I just didn't "get" when I read it the first time when I was a teenager; so much of the story I'd missed with an adolescent mind forced to read a book that had nothing to do with my life. I suppose that is how we are as kids.

I've read this book more than a couple times since; most recently when I got it on my Kindle, and it never stops amazing me.

Everything about this book is exquisite. The description of where it takes place, the characters are drawn so vividly and honestly that you can see them in your head, the attitudes of that specific place and time (so different now, but so the way it was) . But it's the writing that makes everything come together.

A short span of time from the eyes of a little girl told from her adult self, is honest in every respect. It is descriptive, funny, disturbing, tragic; but there is so much love and honor. Atticus Finch may not be the greatest man or the greatest father (according to our standards today), but he truly IS an honest, true, outstanding man and an outstanding and loving and devoted father.

In my opinion, "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee is one of the finest, if not the best, book I've ever read. And I will continue to read it because this is truly a novel that makes me laugh, makes me question "us" as a society (not just in the 1930s but even today), moves me, inspires me,

Possibly the best novel ever written.
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on August 19, 2017
Still a good story. I finally got around to reading this classic. Had started it several times, but never got past the first chapter, until now. Slow starting, the story takes a couple of chapters to build into something interesting. Intriguing but not captivating. Resonant with anyone's childhood.
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on March 7, 2016
I never was never once in all of my studies (Pre K to B.A. and certifications) asked to read this book. When they introduced Harper Lee's book, "Go Set the Watchman", thought, why not read "To Kill a Mockingbird" now. I remember seeing the old Gregory Peck movie, but I didn't remember the plot, only the name, Atticus Finch. I loved this book. I've begun to read, "Go Set the Watchman", but I don't want Atticus to be ruined for me, so I'm not making much progress. "To Kill A Mockingbird" brought back all of the anxiety and nausea of being a little girl in the 1960's, scared to death of the war between races in our country, according the the nightly news during the Civil Rights era of the 1960's. My dad was one of those bigoted white people in the 1960's. And I was ashamed of him. That's why I love Atticus Finch and this book so much. It has a very important lesson in the good old golden rule, "treat one another exactly how we want to be treated."
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on September 17, 2015
You want me to rate a celebrated classic? Really! Audacious, but here goes: I read Mockingbird in 8th or 9th grade, and found it a sad and depressing book In retrospect, it mirrored many of my own adolescent insecurities. No wonder I didn't like it! Reading it again, 40 years later and from a adult perspective was a very different experience. I was struck and awed by Scout's naivete and innocence, and her shock at the realities of the adult world especially relating to racial issues. If we could all adopt her openness and acceptance, her innate respect for all people, this world would be a marvelously different place! Her father's wisdom and basic decency is a wonder to behold in this time of personal agendas and helicopters parents. Others that people this book are a fascinating study of human character - the good, the confused, the hurt, the wicked - and insights into how some of them became what they are abound. The historical perspective shines a glaring light on an ugly time of racial inequity in our country. We've come a long way and yet still have a long way to go.
Would I recommend Mockingbird? Absolutely! A powerful book. An engaging story that's hard to put down. Meaningful insights. Hopeful and uplifting.
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on September 2, 2015
I think it's safe to assume that most people know this book is about a girl named Scout Finch growing up in the American south of the 1930's as it still deals with racism. Seeing as the book is primarily about the experiences of a young girl, the parts about Atticus Finch defending a black man at trial, while important to the plot, are not nearly as prominent as some might recall from having read the book at school, myself included. Still, it's always an interesting book, full of remembrances of youthful activities that are likely to stir up at least an occasional moment of fond nostalgia among most people. While there is a lot that is very specific to the south in here, the principal themes are pretty universal; growing up, our relationships with & views of our families, learning to deal with society's expectations for us, and of course, just how messed up that society can often be. It may perhaps paint a slightly too rosy picture of the way things were at the time, but the inherent optimism fits in with the perspective from which it's being told. It's very hard not to be moved by this book. Whether it wants you to feel joy, suspense, or sorrow, it does a masterful job of bending you to its will. A true American classic. REVIEW ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON GOODREADS.
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on October 8, 2016
This book is a classic because each time you read it, you get more out of it. This was the third time I had read it and it was fresh to me. I had read Go Set a Watchman about a year ago and rereading this after reading that also gave me new insights.
I have a paperback copy of this book but wow, that type was so small. I purchased it on my Kindle and could enlarge the font so easily.
Everyone should read and reread this book to understand the south, ourselves, race relations and the nature of racism.
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