Friday, 13 April 2018

CURL UP WITH A CLASSIC: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Reader Katie from New Zealand shares her passion for the classic American novel TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD... read on to find out what you’re missing!


Katie says:
The English class collectively groaned as classroom copies of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD were passed around. I smiled as I pulled my own copy out. This was the perfect opportunity to finally read the little paperback which had been sitting on my shelf since not last birthday but the birthday before. I quickly passed the first chapter, which in my opinion is the only chapter that could possibly be considered dry, and began reading in earnest, only slightly aided by the competitive nature of classroom reading. 

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, written by Harper Lee, has made the infamous list of “Banned Books” time and time again. Certain words in the book are outdated and considered offensive these days - we weren’t even allowed to use them in our monologues based on the characters in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - but it is the meaning behind Harper Lee’s words that drew me in, and the message is also why everyone should read it, now more than ever.

Harper Lee very cleverly disguises a hugely important message for adults in a children’s book. Scout is, to me, the loveable main character who is also a young girl who the story is told through. She quickly learns her obstinate nature will not get her anywhere, and resolves to befriend Boo Radley, a local hermit, and maybe even save some other people along the way. 


TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is, first and foremost, a book about prejudice. Racial prejudice is not helped by class or age, but racial prejudice is still rife even today. So when, and only when, everybody has read it or can understand its key messages, will the world be able to move forward. Harper Lee introduced the revolutionary concept of respecting everybody, and not taking advantage of a person’s innocence, at grassroots level. She introduced this concept to children. So maybe children will be able to understand more than adults. Scout, Jem and Dill don’t have preconceived opinions about anybody, and do not let others’ opinions impede their progress. We all need to live a little bit more like the children in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, and it starts with reading the extraordinary novel by Harper Lee. 


PS. I also really enjoyed a book called I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD, which is a novel where children try to take TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD off the Banned Books list and get people reading it. It helped me understand the impact of the original book... well worth checking out!

Cathy says:
Wow, great review from Katie! I agree, its impact and importance is one that is universal and it should be a staple for everyone, not just children! Have YOU read it? Do YOU agree with Katie? What did it mean to YOU? Pop to the COMMENTS SECTION below and let us know!

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