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To Kill a Mockingbird

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

41 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Jean Louise Finch, better known as Scout, narrates this tale that covers roughly 2 years of her childhood starting from shortly before she started the 1st grade. The story is a mixture of many elements including a mysterious neighbor named Boo Radley, various coming of ...
Jean Louise Finch, better known as Scout, narrates this tale that covers roughly 2 years of her childhood starting from shortly before she started the 1st grade. The story is a mixture of many elements including a mysterious neighbor named Boo Radley, various coming of age issues regarding Scout and her brother Jem, and her father, Atticus, defending a black man accused of raping a white woman. As the story is set in Alabama in the 1930s, the rape case is particularly incendiary.
To Kill A Mockingbird is such a classic piece of American literature that most people read it in high school.
While there were a few descriptions of rural southern life that ran on a bit long for my taste, the novel was well worth reading. For sheer entertainment value, I enjoyed the Boo Radley subplot the most as it is, both, mildly suspenseful and immensely interesting.
Of course, the novel is most famous for the rape trial and this is also compelling in a fairly horrifying and very sad way. Harper Lee paints a vivid portrait of the extent to which African Americans were relegated to a status far below even second class in that place and time. Atticus Finch does a masterful job of defending the accused, but he knows that the all-white jury has practically cast their votes before ever entering the courtyard. The author uses the narrative voice of the children to highlight the blatant injustices and the outrage that any decent person would feel as a result. The technique is highly effective if not exactly subtle.
To Kill a Mockingbird is easy to recommend. The story is interesting, the characters substantial, and the subject is still relevant today. It's a shame that Harper Lee has not published a second novel but this single book is likely to ensure that her voice will continue to be heard for many years to come. A very good read.

posted by 148253 on October 31, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

30 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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posted by 9114493 on August 5, 2011

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    A Classic and Powerful Novel.

    To Kill a Mockingbird is a story that exposes the cruelty of prejudice toward the African American population in the 1930s. The story is told through the eyes of a young girl named Jean Louise Finch (Scout). Scout and her older brother Jem are raised by their widowed father, a lawyer named Atticus, in a small town of Maycomb County, Alabama. One Summer Scout and her brother meet a young boy named Dill who comes from Mississippi to spend the summer with her aunt. Scout, Jem and Dill become good friends and become fascinated with a man called "Boo" Radley, who has not been seen outside of his house for many years due to his scandalous past since he was in prison. Scout, Jem, and Dill believe Mr. Radley is a big and evil man. During this time in the South, racism and discrimination toward black people was common. Scout's father becomes a defense attorney for a black man, Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping a white woman.
    I really like To Kill a Mockingbird because it gives me a better understanding about how sometimes, we as people can be prejudiced and intolerant without reason. The book is an eye opener and shows an interesting glimpse into the cruelty that some people had to go through in the South during the 1930s. Reading this book shows the evil affect of racism.
    If I could suggest a change I would decrease the number of minor characters to gain a more personal view and also add a second point of view to get a different perspective aside from Scout's. I think with these changes would benefit the readers and keep the story more interesting. I recommend people read this book. I find it to be interesting , powerful and it makes a great statement on how justice can be changed by racism.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2009

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    I read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This book was about a middle aged lawyer named Atticus who was defending Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white girl. Because he was defending Tom Robinson Atticus' kids were getting made fun of by all the towns' people. All of this drama teaches them a lot of life lessons which helps them mature.

    The theme of this book was don't punish something if it did nothing wrong. I agree that if something is innocent you shouldn't punish it. Harper Lee does a great job in showing the theme and teaching that lesson to whoever reads her book. She states the theme in the book using a metaphor with a mockingbird. Atticus told Jem and scout not to shoot the mockingbirds, because they did not harm anything. They didn't ruin the crops they just sang beautiful songs for everybody to here. She also implies the theme with Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. Also the story taught a lot about the racism back then. How the black people's church was a place white people gambled every day but Sunday. On top of that they didn't have enough money to get a bible for everybody. Another way Lee shows racism is how Jem and Scout got made fun of just because their dad was defending a black guy.

    My opinion about this book is that it was good it kept me very interested and taught me a valuable lesson. I was sad to hear she retired writing after To Kill a Mockingbird. She did really well on this book and I would have liked to read other books written by her. I liked how she wrote about something that was so real back then. How she used the racism and Tom Robinson being accused of rape to teach a lesson to people. Also the book was very interesting. I don't like to read and I couldn't put this book down after I started reading it. It's a bestseller and I can see why now. This is now one of my favorite books.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2008

    Enduring

    I read this classic for a group discussion for a book group, and I hadn't read it since I was a child. Its theme of racial injustice is not as powerful as it probably was upon its initial publication in 1960, but the overriding theme of the death of innocence endures. The plot, which lacks pacing at times, is not the book's strongest element the real reason the book endures is because of Lee's flowing prose (copied shamelessly and often: see The Secret Life of Bees for example) and strongly drawn characters, most of whom were based on real-life relatives, friends and neighbors.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent novel!

    This is a must read at any High School or College level!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2010

    LOVED IT

    I read this book for a school project and i ended up really liking it.
    The story is so intense and is a definite page turner. I sort of got confused but the style choice of writing but over all it was amazing. The whole plot was perfect. The ending wasn't what i had expected it to be but that made the book so much better. I wish they made another book to show the life of Atticus and his children afterward.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Classic

    I read this book my freshman year of high school. When I learned that we were to be reading this story as part of a "big grade," I was sceptic. It sounded, to sum it up, boring. Then slowly assigned homework turned to reading for entertainment. Although, this book started out forced upon, it become one of my all time favorites! Sometimes good things just fall into your lap.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Was Impressed!

    At first, when I was given this book in my English class. I was excited to read it, then I started... I was disappointed with the first half of the book. I was slow and dragged on, but I kept going. Once I started the second part of the book, I started to get very into the story. The trial started and the story kept taking new twists and turns! I could not put it down! This book is definitely one that everyone should read. They don't call it a classic for nothing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2009

    Good message but was hard to want to read

    This book was required to read for my english class. When we started reading it, I found it to be hard to understand, and the drive to continue was not there. The climax of the book didn't feel like much of a climax, more of the start of something interesting. It's true that most of what happened in the book was related, although it was hard to find in all of the extra description that wasn't needed. Overall, the message was great, but the story had too much background information that wasn't needed, making it hard to have the want to continue. The end was good, but the story did not make me want to read it again.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2009

    To Kill a Mocking Bird

    To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel by Harper Lee, is about two children, the brother Jem and sister Scout, during the Great Depression. Jem and Scout spent their summers mainly with Dill Harris, their summer-neighbor. All summer they would make up plays and spy on a strange member of their town, Boo Radley. This man was thought to be the town recluse and kept Jem, Scout, and Dill's imaginations curious. During the school year Scout often found herself in trouble and has a difficult time understanding that she has to be a lady. Atticus Finch, the father of Jem and Scout and well know lawyer of Macomb, was hired to defend a man named Tom Robinson, an African American. This causes Jem and Scout to be ridiculed by their classmates when their peers find out that their father is on Tom's side.

    This book illustrates racism and discrimination during the 1930's. It really caught my interest and it is a book I will read over and over again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Very Good

    This book is on my favorite list for sure, it's very moving. I read this in the 9th grade for an English assignment and I really enjoyed it! Harper Lee creates a very special plot with rich characters that surprises you every time. Whether you're my age or you're in your 70s, you will find a connection to this book and you will learn a treasured lesson from it. Recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    FANTASTIC

    This is a great book. I would recommend this book to everyone. A great story with elements of breaking down racial barriers. Everyone should read this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Very good

    I've only read the first chapter but its already very good. Duper funny. My parents own at least three copies of this book so i didnt have to buy it. Cant wait to read the rest of this brilliant book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    It was diffrent

    Read this in 9th grade which was 2years ago and i still rember it some others i read were night, outsiders, and mice and men all good books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    GOOD!!! I read it for english, and I really loved it.

    GOOD!!! I read it for english, and I really loved it.

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  • Posted July 11, 2013

    You know, I didn¿t read this book for ages because I believed it

    You know, I didn’t read this book for ages because I believed it was what the jacket cover said: a trial about a black man in the South. I just didn’t need any more injustice in my head making me crazy. But this book is really not about a black man on trail. That story is like the wallpaper at Christmas dinner, just something in the back ground. It was much more about a little tom-boy named Scout and her adventures growing up. Of course the end did in fact make me a little crazy, but read it for yourself. It is worth it.

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  • Posted July 7, 2013

    It¿s the child like perspective of the book that gives the event

    It’s the child like perspective of the book that gives the events such poignancy and humor. I did not expect to chuckle so much. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2013

    I had to read this book for schoola dn I am happy I did! Really

    I had to read this book for schoola dn I am happy I did! Really good book with a good story and everything. Sort of like one of those classics that you have to read!

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    To kill a mockingbird is a good book for me, but sometime I get

    To kill a mockingbird is a good book for me, but sometime I get confuse about the story and I just finished it. Make me so happy and Thank you to me this book, because is make me know a lot of  the story about Maycomb. Mrs.Tample

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  • Posted December 16, 2012

    This book is about a black men that is getting charge with rape

    This book is about a black men that is getting charge with rape against a white woman. Atticus is a white men who stand for the black men named Tom and back then it was a lot of racist and Atticus wasnt a racists men he was a good men. The people in town knew that Tom didnt rape her the town knows her father beats her when he drinks. The case was on trial because they didnt know the truth yet. They keep Tom in the jail in town. The white people in town had went to the jail cell to try to kill Tom but Attticus wouldnt let them.

    1.Somthing i like about the author was he had a good details of the characters. 2.I would tell my friend to rread this book because its a good book. 3. What i like about this book that Atticus is a good person. What i dislike about this book is the racist people.

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  • Posted November 7, 2012

    To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel published in 1960. This booked

    To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel published in 1960. This booked is based in the 1930’s about a black man being prosecuted for the rape of a white woman. The two kids of the lawyer who decides to defend the black man are left to face the harsh reality of racism. Their father agrees to defend this man and is proud about his choice. These kids also bear witness to just how much people judge one another as they try to uncover the truth behind the neighborhood “bogyman”, Arthur Radley, but known to the kids in town as Boo Radley. These kids as well as their father learn the value of individual morals in a group based society

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