To Kill a Mockingbird

( 2140 )


Lawyer Atticus Finch defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic, Puliter Prize-winning novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white woman. Through the eyes of Atticus's children, Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unanswering honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930's.

Author Biography:

Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, where ...

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Lawyer Atticus Finch defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic, Puliter Prize-winning novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white woman. Through the eyes of Atticus's children, Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unanswering honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930's.

Author Biography:

Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, where she attended local schools and the University of Alabama. She has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, three honarary degrees, and many other literart awards.

Winner of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Life magazine
"Remarkable triumph . . . Miss Lee writes with a wry compassion that makes her novel soar."
From the Publisher
"Marvelous . . . Miss Lee's original characters are people to cherish in this winning first novel."—The New York Times

"Remarkable triumph . . . Miss Lee writes with a wry compassion that makes her novel soar."—Life magazine

"Miss Lee wonderfully builds the tranquil atmosphere of her Southern town, and as adroitly causes it to erupt a shocking lava of emotions."—San Francisco Examiner

"Skilled, unpretentious and tototally ingenuous . . . tough, melodramatic, acute, funny."—The New Yorker

"A novel of great sweetness, humor, compassion, and of mystery carefully sustained."—Harper's Magazine

The New York Times
"Marvelous . . . Miss Lee's original characters are people to cherish in this winning first novel."
Life Magazine
Remarkable triumph . . . Miss Lee writes with a wry compassion that makes her novel soar.
San Francisco Examiner
"Miss Lee wonderfully builds the tranquil atmosphere of her Southern town, and as adroitly causes it to erupt a shocking lava of emotions."
The New Yorker
"Skilled, unpretentious and tototally ingenuous . . . tough, melodramatic, acute, funny."
Harper's Magazine
"A novel of great sweetness, humor, compassion, and of mystery carefully sustained."
Library Journal
This 50th-anniversary edition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic is narrated by Sissy Spacek.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060935467
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 843
  • Product dimensions: 6.78 (w) x 8.14 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Harper Lee

Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She attended Huntingdon College and studied law at the University of Alabama. She is the author of two novels, To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman. Harper Lee has been awarded numerous literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Read an Excerpt


When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. When it healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury. His left arm was somewhat shorter than his right; when he stood or walked, the back of his hand was at right angles to his body, his thumb parallel to his thigh. He couldn't have cared less, so long as he could pass and punt.

When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out.

I said if he wanted to take a broad view of the thing, it really began with Andrew Jackson. If General Jackson hadn't run the Creeks up the creek, Simon Finch would never have paddled up the Alabama, and where would we be if he hadn't? We were far too old to settle an argument with a fist-fight, so we consulted Atticus. Our father said we were both right.

Being Southerners, it was a source of shame to some members of the family that we had no recorded ancestors on either side of the Battle of Hastings. All we had was Simon Finch, a fur-trapping apothecary from Cornwall whose piety was exceeded only by his stinginess. In England, Simon was irritated by the persecution of those who called themselves Methodists at the hands of their more liberal brethren, and as Simon called himself a Methodist, he worked his way across theAtlantic to Philadelphia, thence to Jamaica, thence to Mobile, and up the Saint Stephens. Mindful of John Wesley's strictures on the use of many words in buying and selling, Simon made a pile practicing medicine, but in this pursuit he was unhappy lest he be tempted into doing what he knew was not for the glory of God, as the putting on of gold and costly apparel. So Simon, having forgotten his teacher's dictum on the possession of human chattels, bought three slaves and with their aid established a homestead on the banks of the Alabama River some forty miles above Saint Stephens. He returned to Saint Stephens only once, to find a wife, and with her established a line that ran high to daughters. Simon lived to an impressive age and died rich.

It was customary for the men in the family to remain on Simon's homestead, Finch's Landing, and make their living from cotton. The place was self-sufficient: modest in comparison with the empires around it, the Landing nevertheless produced everything required to sustain life except ice, wheat flour, and articles of clothing, supplied by river-boats from Mobile.

Simon would have regarded with impotent fury the disturbance between the North and the South, as it left his descendants stripped of everything but their land, yet the tradition of living on the land remained unbroken until well into the twentieth century, when my father, Atticus Finch, went to Montgomery to read law, and his younger brother went to Boston to study medicine. Their sister Alexandra was the Finch who remained at the Landing: she married a taciturn man who spent most of his time lying in a hammock by the river wondering if his trot-lines were full.

When my father was admitted to the bar, he returned to Maycomb and began his practice. Maycomb, some twenty miles east of Finch's Landing, was the county seat of Maycomb County. Atticus's office in the courthouse contained little more than a hat rack, a spittoon, a checkerboard and an unsullied Code of Alabama. His first two clients were the last two persons hanged in the Maycomb County jail. Atticus had urged them to accept the state's generosity in allowing them to plead Guilty to second-degree murder and escape with their lives, but they were Haverfords, in Maycomb County a name synonymous with jackass. The Haverfords had dispatched Maycomb's leading blacksmith in a misunderstanding arising from the alleged wrongful detention of a mare, were imprudent enough to do it in the presence of three witnesses, and insisted that the-son-of-a-bitch-had-it-coming-to-him was a good enough defense for anybody. They persisted in pleading Not Guilty to first-degree murder, so there was nothing much Atticus could do for his clients except be present at their departure, an occasion that was probably the beginning of my father's profound distaste for the practice of criminal law.

During his first five years in Maycomb, Atticus practiced economy more than anything; for several years thereafter he invested his earnings in his brother's education. John Hale Finch was ten years younger than my father, and chose to study medicine at a time when cotton was not worth growing; but after getting Uncle Jack started, Atticus derived a reasonable income from the law. He liked Maycomb, he was Maycomb County born and bred; he knew his people, they knew him, and because of Simon Finch's industry, Atticus was related by blood or marriage to nearly every family in the town.

Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.

People moved slowly then. They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of the stores around it, took their time about everything. A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. But it was a time of vague optimism for some of the people: Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.

We lived on the main residential street in town--Atticus, Jem and I, plus Calpurnia our cook. Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with us, read to us, and treated us with courteous detachment.

Calpurnia was something else again. She was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard. She was always ordering me out of the kitchen, asking me why I couldn't behave as well as Jem when she knew he was older, and calling me home when I wasn't ready to come. Our battles were epic and one-sided. Calpurnia always won, mainly because Atticus always took her side. She had been with us ever since Jem was born, and I had felt her tyrannical presence as long as I could remember.

Our mother died when I was two, so I never felt her absence. She was a Graham from Montgomery; Atticus met her when he was first elected to the state legislature. He was middle-aged then, she was fifteen years his junior. Jem was the product of their first year of marriage; four years later I was born, and two years later our mother died from a sudden heart attack. They said it ran in her family. I did not miss her, but I think Jem did. He remembered her clearly, and sometimes in the middle of a game he would sigh at length, then go off and play by himself behind the car-house. When he was like that, I knew better than to bother him.

When I was almost six and Jem was nearly ten, our summertime boundaries (within calling distance of Calpurnia) were Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose's house two doors to the north of us, and the Radley Place three doors to the south. We were never tempted to break them. The Radley Place was inhabited by an unknown entity the mere description of whom was enough to make us behave for days on end; Mrs. Dubose was plain hell.

That was the summer Dill came to us.

Early one morning as we were beginning our day's play in the back yard, Jem and I heard something next door in Miss Rachel Haverford's collard patch. We went to the wire fence to see if there was a puppy--Miss Rachel's rat terrier was expecting--instead we found someone sitting looking at us. Sitting down, he wasn't much higher than the collards. We stared at him until he spoke:


"Hey yourself," said Jem pleasantly.

"I'm Charles Baker Harris," he said. "I can read."

"So what?" I said.

"I just thought you'd like to know I can read. You got anything needs readin' I can do it. . . ."

"How old are you," asked Jem, "four-and-a-half?"

"Goin' on seven."

"Shoot no wonder, then," said Jem, jerking his thumb at me. "Scout yonder's been readin' ever since she was born, and she ain't even started to school yet. You look right puny for goin' on seven."

"I'm little but I'm old," he said.

Jem brushed his hair back to get a better look. "Why don't you come over, Charles Baker Harris?" he said. "Lord, what a name."

"'s not any funnier'n yours. Aunt Rachel says your name's Jeremy Atticus Finch."

Jem scowled. "I'm big enough to fit mine," he said. "Your name's longer'n you are. Bet it's a foot longer."

"Folks call me Dill," said Dill, struggling under the fence.

To Kill a Mockingbird. Copyright © by Harper Lee. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
IntroductionTo Kill a Mockingbird is the story of the early childhood of Jean Louise "Scout" Finch, chronicling the humorous trials and tribulations of growing up in Maycomb, Alabama, from 1933 to 1935. Maycomb's small-town Southern atmosphere -- in which nobody locks their doors at night and the local telephone operator can identify callers solely by their voices -- contributes to the security of Scout's world, just as pervasive forces of racism threaten to unsettle it. Scout's devotion to her older brother, Jem, and her hero-worship of her father, the defense attorney Atticus Finch, infuse this story with an uncommon intimacy and affection. An acknowledged tomboy, Scout -- along with her ubiquitous playmates Jem and Dill -- spends her days lamenting that she must attend school and her afternoons engaged in various schemes to provoke a mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley, to emerge from his house. As Scout, Jem, and Dill become increasingly obsessed with luring Boo outside, they put themselves at greater risk, at one point incurring Boo's brother's gunfire. Scout and Jem's misadventures suggest an idyllic childhood, one tempered only by the rules of their beloved servant, Calpurnia; the standards imposed on them by their prudish Aunt Alexandra; and the particularities of their neighbors, Miss Maudie Atkinson and Mrs. Dubose. Over the course of the novel, both children learn to appreciate the values held by their father, whose boyhood nickname, "Ol' One-Shot," isput to the test in an episode with a mad dog. When Atticus is assigned a case defending a local black man, Tom Robinson, who has been unjustly accused of rape by Mayella Ewell, a poor white woman from a family of ill-repute, Scout explores her beliefs, her father's moral obligations, and the dynamics of her community. As the untroubled realm of her childhood collides with the adult world of the courthouse, Scout discovers that redemption -- salvation, even -- can come from unexpected sources. Discussion Questions
  • How do Scout, Jem, and Dill characterize Boo Radley at the beginning of the book? In what way did Boo's past history of violence foreshadow his method of protecting Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell? Does this repetition of aggression make him more or less of a sympathetic character?
  • In Scout's account of her childhood, her father Atticus reigns supreme. How would you characterize his abilities as a single parent? How would you describe his treatment of Calpurnia and Tom Robinson vis a vis his treatment of his white neighbors and colleagues? How would you typify his views on race and class in the larger context of his community and his peers?
  • The title of Lee's book is alluded to when Atticus gives his children air rifles and tells them that they can shoot all the bluejays they want, but "it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." At the end of the novel, Scout likens the "sin" of naming Boo as Bob Ewell's killer to "shootin' a mockingbird." Do you think that Boo is the only innocent, or mockingbird, in this novel?
  • Scout ages two years-from six to eight-over the course of Lee's novel, which is narrated from her perspective as an adult. Did you find the account her narrator provides believable? Were there incidents or observations in the book that seemed unusually "knowing" for such a young child? What event or episode in Scout's story do you feel truly captures her personality?
  • To Kill a Mockingbird has been challenged repeatedly by the political left and right, who have sought to remove it from libraries for its portrayal of conflict between children and adults; ungrammatical speech; references to sex, the supernatural, and witchcraft; and unfavorable presentation of blacks. Which elements of the book-if any-do you think touch on controversial issues in our contemporary culture? Did you find any of those elements especially troubling, persuasive, or insightful?
  • Jem describes to Scout the four "folks" or classes of people in Maycomb County: "…our kind of folks don't like the Cunninghams, the Cunninghams don't like the Ewells, and the Ewells hate and despise the colored folks." What do you think of the ways in which Lee explores race and class in 1930s Alabama? What significance, if any, do you think these characterizations have for people living in other parts of the world?
  • One of the chief criticisms of To Kill a Mockingbird is that the two central storylines -- Scout, Jem, and Dill's fascination with Boo Radley and the trial between Mayella Ewell and Tom Robinson -- are not sufficiently connected in the novel. Do you think that Lee is successful in incorporating these different stories? Were you surprised at the way in which these story lines were resolved? Why or why not?
  • By the end of To Kill a Mockingbird, the book's first sentence: "When he was thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow," has been explained and resolved. What did you think of the events that followed the Halloween pageant? Did you think that Bob Ewell was capable of injuring Scout or Jem? How did you feel about Boo Radley's last-minute intervention?
  • What elements of this book did you find especially memorable, humorous, or inspiring? Are there individual characters whose beliefs, acts, or motives especially impressed or surprised you? Did any events in this book cause you to reconsider your childhood memories or experiences in a new light? About the Author: Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville Alabama, which produced two world-renowned authors in the same generation. Harper Lee was the grade school classmate of the young Truman Capote, with whom she maintained a friendship well into adulthood. (In 1966 Capote dedicated In Cold Blood to her). The youngest of four children of Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Finch Lee, Harper attended Huntingdon College 1944-45, studied law at University of Alabama 1945-49, and spent a year at Oxford University. In the 1950s she moved to New York City where, after working briefly as an airline reservation clerk, she decided to focus exclusively on her writing. She moved into a cold-water flat and began writing To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1957 she submitted the manuscript to the J. B. Lippincott Company and was told that her novel read too much like a series of loosely connected short stories. She spent the next two and a half years revising the book and in 1960 it was published to widespread acclaim, winning the Pulitzer Prize and thousands of devoted readers.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2140 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2140 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    I Also Recommend:


    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. <BR/>To Kill A Mockingbird is such a classic piece of American literature that most people read it in high school. <BR/>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. <BR/>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. <BR/>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.

    62 out of 66 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2009

    Making Racism Real

    When I first looked at the book "To Kill A Mockingbird" I thought that it looked like a boring old book that I was going to be forced to read. I was one hundred percent positive that I would not like it one bit. But by the time I was on the 6th chapter I could not put it down. This book was amazing. Although it was written through the eyes of a six-year-old girl it is a very deep book. The concept of racism and prejudice in this book was shown perfectly through the eyes of Scout. The innocence that the victims, Tom Robinson and Boo Radley, showed was clear throughout the whole book. I enjoyed this book for several reasons. One is the fact that even though Harper Lee wrote this book in 1960 the book opened my eyes to the fact that the concept of racism and prejudice is still happening today. This was an interesting glimpse into this subject for me because I live in a very diverse community and all of my friends and peers are pretty tolerant of each others' differences. Reading this book taught me that racism could affect everyone. Using interesting characters and getting me involved in their personal stories made the issues of civil rights and racism more real to me. Usually when you have to read about racism it involves dates in a history book and people you can't relate to, but "To Kill A Mockingbird" was written in a way that was easy to read and more people can relate to Scout and her family. I also liked this book because it showed how growing up is an important and inevitable part of life. At some point you can't shelter children from every bad thing in the world that comes along. In the story, Atticus eventually had to sit down with Jem and Scout and explain to them about bigotry and what was going on in their community. He understood that they were growing up and, in turn, he set an example of what a good person was like. I liked how even though the book was written through Scout's eyes, Harper Lee still was able to catch how Jem was affected by having Scout observe the changes in her brother and talk to her Dad about it. Even though the book touches on more mature ideas and concepts, I feel that this book is a sure hit for all ages. This book is a true classic and unquestionably deserved the Pulitzer Prize.

    32 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read!

    I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

    23 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Timeless Classic

    This is such a moving book. It is rich with southern texture. A coming of age tale in the Depression Era south, the book speaks to people today as much as it did when it was written. Every time I read it, I find that it tells me more about children, adults, feelings, and how we deal with one another as people. I also find that, each time I read it, I am uplifted.

    20 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Disappointment

    When we were assigned to read this book in class, I was very eager to start. I had heard from all points of view that this book was fabulous. When my teacher gave us an outline of the book, she explained the Scottsboro Boys' Trials. What happend to the Scottsboro Boys is almost exactly what happend to Tom Robinson, except there were about 17 Scottsboro Boys. These trials went on while Harper Lee was growing up. The book isn't original: Scout is narrating through Lee's eyes watching the trial. For Scout, it is Tom's trial, for Lee, the Scottsboro Boys' Trials. Aside from that, the book is very slow. The characters talk in Southern dialect which makes it irritating to decipher. The book's ending has no purpose. Just another story full of hate and racism.

    13 out of 82 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2009


    To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic, there's no doubt about it. Jean Louise "Scout" Finch is, herself, a timeless character, as well as her placid father, the lawyer Atticus Finch and curious brother Jeremy "Jem" Finch. The Finch family lives in a sleepy and conservative town in Alabama called Maycomb in the early twentieth century. In Maycomb, scandals are few and far between. The sparse population, to be frank, are closed-minded and old-fashioned, and not in a good way. Though large believers in politeness, the Maycomb residents are not themselves very polite. Despite these limitations, Scout and her brother somehow manage. Throughout the novel, Scout is presented with many challenges that come with growing up, many of which include her behavior and how she responds to people. Life for the Finch family changes drastically, and not for the better when Atticus decides to represent an African-American man named Tom Robinson in a case that accuses him of raping Mayella Ewell, a town local. The town lunges with bared teeth at this, as their beliefs don't include an African-American man ever being declared innocent in a courtroom. As far as they're concerned, Tom was voted guilty the moment he was accused. As children of Atticus, Scout and Jem are being constantly harassed by the residents, mostly their children. Scout is deeply bothered by this, but Atticus assures her to keep her pride and not let anyone tell her otherwise. During the trial, Atticus defends Tom brilliantly, making it very clear to the judge and jury that Tom could not have committed the offense, and that the blame lay squarely on the victim's father's shoulders. Even given this evidence, the jury still declares Tom guilty and the town is satisfied once more, although Bob Ewell, Mayella's father, feels humiliated and vows to get revenge on Atticus. This threat is not taken seriously, and the Finches continue with their normal lives. Meanwhile, Scout's Aunt Alexandra has come to stay, in order to be a mother figure for the two Finch children. Immediately, Aunt Alexandra finds fault with the way Atticus raised Scout, and tries desperately to turn Scout into a "proper lady". At first, Scout balks at the idea, but later in the story, toward the end, she decides that disappointing Aunt Alexandra is not the right thing to do, and so she makes attempts to fit in with the ladies of Maycomb. The climax of the story occurs when, on the way home from a school performance, Jem and Scout are attacked by a local with the evident intention of harming and killing them. Though, again, a timeless classic that belongs in every bookshelf, To Kill A Mockingbird is certainly no work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is more of a slower, quieter read for someone who doesn't find thrilling literature any good. Though extremely dull and a possible alternative to a sleeping pill as far as boring to sleep goes, it does, however, have very strong emotion that most novels lack, and for that I must applaud it.

    12 out of 59 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2012

    beautiful book but..

    i have bought a couple of the classic leatherbound books from BN (pride and prejudice, crime and punishment, and wuthering heights) i have loved them all and love the quality of the mockingbird book i received. One thing is that this book is differrent then the others its large print on the inside and is taller by about an inch. it may sound city that i am complaining about that but i wasw wanting uniform books and this is not the same...why couldnt they just make it wider and shorter verses tall and skinny. very nice quality just slimmer and taller than the other books. Just got it today.

    11 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Time to Reread this Timeless Classic

    When I told friends that I had spent the weekend re-reading To Kill A Mockingbird, they were skeptical and even asked, "What do you have a test on Monday?" This classic tale of adolesence is part of our American fabric. Read as a student while you were in high school the injustice of racism screams to you. Read as a parent the themes of how to parent, how to let your child grow, how to accept your child for who she is, how to allow your child to grow up speak to you. If you haven't picked up Harper Lee's classic since high school, now is the time.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2008

    A Memorable Must Read

    A definite Must Read for most any age. I'm a highschool student myself, though I read it on my own time because my mom recomended it, despite the fact several of my friends did not enjoy it. It's a real classic though, very well written that not only was it meaningful, but easy to get through. Before you knew it, you could be 100 pages in, only meaning to read 10. Harper Lee did an amazing job of developing not only her characters, but the whole feel of the small southern town, as well as a wonderful message something that's seriously lacking in many modern books, and though sometimes you'll wonder what a scene has to do with the book at all, it all comes together neatly at the end. Told from the eyes of a 8 year old growing up was a brilliant touch, giving a lot more emotion to it. An amazingly written book that everyone should read, To Kill A Mocking Bird will probably be a timeless classic, if it's not already.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Best Contemporary American Novel Ever Written

    As a native of the Southern U.S., this book means a lot to me. I first read it in sixth grade in my English class. For those who aren't familiar with Harper's novel, the plot focuses on a small, Depression-era town in Alabama. A black man is accused of raping a white woman, and the town's well-respected lawyer and widower, Atticus Finch, decides to defend the accused.

    Narrated through the eyes of Atticus's daughter, Scout, Harper portrays the violence, prejudice, and feelings of the American South during a very difficult time. Atticus, unsurprisingly, incurs the wrath of the town for defending a black man, but ultimately wins the respect of his two children.

    'To Kill a Mockingbird' is a deeply moving and poignant story about childhood innocence, as Scout and her older brother try to understand the nature of violence and prejudice.

    Everyone should read this novel-period.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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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.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2012

    This book may have been printed on endangered and illegally logg

    This book may have been printed on endangered and illegally logged tree fiber from the Indonesian rainforest. This forest is home to the last 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, and their habitat is quickly disappearing because of the logging practices of companies like Asia Pulp and Paper. Barnes and Noble needs to cut deforestation out of their supply chain by stopping all trade with APP and other forest destroyers!

    6 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    In my opinion the finest example of literature ever written in American English.

    Unfotunately, I do not possess the eloquence necessary to do justice to this work of incredible art. Harper Lee writes in simple, plain language about a childhood incident that brings out the best, and worst, of the charcters in the book. Tom Hanks once noted that "The Godfather" is the "I-Ching" of business - To Kill a Mockingbird is the "I-Ching" of American life: e.g., "Leave out the adjectives and you'll have the facts." The story is simple and yet powerful, the characters are distinctive and familiar, the lessons are undestandable and timeless. I have but one regret about this book, and that is the fact that I've read it: I'd love to be able, now, as an adult, to read this book for the first time.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2000

    A classic novel anyone can enjoy

    I, like most other reviewers of this book, read To Kill A Mockingbird in English class. I never thought that I would read a book for school that I couldn't put down. It is obvious that Harper Lee was from a small southern town because the plot is so real. I wouldn't have read this novel if I didn't have to because a lot of people said it was boring, but I thought it was one of the best books I've ever read. I read ahead of the class and finished it weeks before the rest of my class did, while I normally fall behind when reading novels for school. This book was very unpredictable, so I had no idea what would happen next. This book deals with racism and general everyday life in the south at the time of the Great Depression through the eyes of a child. I highly recommend this book to all people who like a book that will make them laugh and cry.

    6 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.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A must-read classic novel

    I first read "To Kill A Mockingbird" when I was 10 years old. While I would not recommend it for most children that age, it became one of my favorite books; 42 years later, it is still a favorite. Harper Lee instilled such depth in each character and created such a rich portrait of a small Southern town, that this is a story to be read, re-read and cherished for a lifetime.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2011

    Old time classic that never gets old!

    When reading To Kill A Mockingbird, the values it teaches are always applicable to life. Especially for a young adult, it can teach them responsibility and selflessness. This book really warms the heart and you will find yourself wanting to read it more than once. I would recommend it to anyone, great book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2010

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    I remember reading this for a class and I finished it before everyone else because it was an intriguing read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Thought-Provoking and Emotional Story

    Thesis -- Atticus consistently parents by providing suggestions for dealing with difficult situations and holding his kids to high
    standards of behavior; thus laying the foundation for his children to grow up to be morally-centered citizens.

    One parenting strength of Atticus Finch is his ability to take the various scrapes and confusing situations his kids get into, and translate these instances into clear suggestions for Scout and Jem. One specific time Atticus gives this guidance is to his daughter Scout: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view." (Lee 30). In this part of the story, Scout asks her father why she has to follow the school rules while some of her classmates do not. Atticus explains the idea of empathy; that one person cannot truly know what someone else experiences unless he puts himself into their place. Instead of allowing Scout to simply jump to conclusions, Atticus advises Scout to use the communication tool of empathy, which she can use to understand other people better, and therefore be more productive in her dealings with others. Similar advice is given when Atticus reminds Scout that Miss Caroline probably also had a rough first day of school and Scout should remember that they both learned a lot today (Lee 30). This is a wise piece of advice because it will help Scout to be less judgmental and will help her get along with other people. By prompting her to consider views other than her own, Atticus is teaching Scout to become a caring member of society. So because of her father's guidance, no matter what circumstances society may present to her, Scout has learned to be a good person (and therefore a good citizen) by taking others into consideration before making judgments.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    Great Book to Read Anytime

    To Kill A Mockingbird was a very good book. It was written well, had interesting characters, and was an interesting story. The words flowed nicely and had nice language. The characters were complex and fascinating. The characters were portrayed as real people trying to make a difference. They came across as remarkably ordinary people in a small town, but still made an impression on the reader. The story started off slowly. There was not much action and only hints of a real conflict. However, this was the point in the story in which the author introduced the character's personalities and prepared the reader to understand why some characters acted the way they did in Part 2 of the book. In the second part, the conflict was introduced subtly. It had been mentioned before, but only a little bit. As the story started moving along, the reader could see how the characters reacted to certain people and events, which set the way for the climax. I thought the author did a very nice job moving the story along at this point. The author kept the reader's attention and did not reveal everything, allowing the reader to think about the story and infer things from characters' actions. I really enjoyed reading this book and understand why this book is considered a classic and should be read by everyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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