Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book 96: To Kill a Mockingbird and Book Stats.

Title: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee (1926- )

First Published: 1960
My Edition: Grand Central Publishing (pictured at left)
Pages: 376

Other Works Include: No other published works...

I was inspired to move this one from the bookshelf to the nightstand a few weeks ago when I was still teaching. I was covering a class for another teacher and they were reading a chapter of this novel in the session I was covering. The ninth graders asked me if I liked the book, and while I knew I read it as a ninth grader as well, the details were incredibly fuzzy. It was that same day I moved the book to the "get to it soon" pile on the nightstand.

I do remember reading this one, but I am sad that I don't remember more than a few names and events. And since I often see this one listed as many bloggers' favorite classic, I feel like I need a refresher. To say I am excited is an understatement. I wonder how the memories will come rushing back after over 10-11 years of not reading this title.

I am also curious about the author and the fact that this is her only novel. All of my research has shown me that she is still around (she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bush in 2007), but hasn't published any other official writing. Curious, isn't it? To write such an outstanding, loved, and influential novel and never publish again? She also seems to be a bit of recluse, like Salinger was. But I am intrigued and anxious to revisit Atticus, Boo, Jem, and Scout-names I remember, but whose story I have forgotten.

Are you one of those bloggers who claim this as a favorite? Tell me why!


  1. I read this in school too and loved it.
    I love YA books and I recently found and re-read one that I'd loved and read several times as a teen but was out of print for years, 'Tunes for a small harmonica.' I was absolutely stunned at the things I'd forgotten, and the things I remembered. I remembered some of the lines and jokes word for word, and I remembered the whole thing about busking with the harmonica, but I'd totally forgotten about the guy she falls in love with, which was basically the whole point of the book. Funny how your filters change as you get older. Maybe you can never really 're-read' a book.

  2. I reread it a few years ago for the first time since high school, and I absolutely loved it. I got so much more out of it as an adult than reading it in the 9th grade! It is a classic that really stands the test of time.

    There's quite an interesting biography of Harper Lee called "Mockingbird" which sheds light on why she never wrote anything else. She is still alive but I believe she's extremely frail.

  3. I've read this and then re-read it and it's definitely a favorite. There's something so powerful about seeing racism through the innocent eyes of a child. Also, I think I would love this book for Atticus alone. He is one of my favorite characters of all time. Later this year I'm taking a roadtrip with The Huz to Lee's hometown to see the Mockingbird museum and courthouse. I hope you love it!

  4. You'll love it. I read it in ninth grade, too, but for some reason the story has really stuck in my mind and while I may not remember every detail, there are certain smaller scenes that I remember clearly. We spent a lot of time on the book in school, so maybe that's why. Happy reading!

  5. I had to read To Kill a Mockingbird for summer reading when I was a sophomore for my American Lit class. As I read the first half of the novel, I remember loving it. But for some reason, I never finished the novel. Maybe it was because it was summer reading and we didn't really spend time anaylzing it. This post has inspired me to go back and pick up. This time I'm going to finish it.

    I hope you enjoy it the second time around!

  6. Oh man, I love this book. For some reason I've been thinking about it a lot lately. One of the the things I love about it is that it tackles such a huge, meaningful questions, but from a little girl's point of view ... it just goes to show that you don't need to be a mature intellectual to understand and appreciate the most meaningful things about life.

    I hope you enjoy your reread!

  7. Love, love, love this novel! I get something new out of it every time I read it. One of the many reasons I love it is because Lee builds such an admirable character in Atticus, but he is not perfect, so he is completely relatable! My students the first year I taught this claimed that I would marry Atticus is he was a really person; they were probably right...

    While it is not an authorized biography, and definitely had its quirks that drove me crazy, it would be worth checking out Mockingbird, by Charles Shields. It gave me a whole new appreciation for Lee's dedication to her novel!

  8. I too read this in high school and loved it at the time. I actually remember is fairly well (especially compared to books I've read more recently!), but part of me wonders if I'd have the same reaction years on. It's a powerful book. If you've never seen the movie with Gregory Peck, I would highly recommend it.

  9. I love this book because, as you say about Celie, Scout and Jem's awakening to life moves me in a profound way. It gives me confidence in humanity. Plus I think its a sweet story.