Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird 50th Anniversary

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To Kill A MockingbirdJuly 11 is the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic. Featuring some of the most memorable characters in literary history—attorney Atticus Finch, his children Scout and Jem, and of course Boo Radley—To Kill a Mockingbird is the indelible story of race, class, and growing up in the Deep South of the 1930s. Great reading group discussion topics!

To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie.

When did you first read To Kill a Mockingbird? What did it mean to you? Does the book have any relevance today? Did you see the movie before you read the book? Was the movie true to the book? Would you read and discuss the book for one of your book club meetings?

Please take a moment to write your thoughts on the 50th anniversary of this well-loved classic.

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To Kill A mockingbird

My bookgroup read To Kill a Mockingbird in 2009 as part of a series of reading about our legal system (We also read Inherit the Wind and 12 Angry Men). Many of us also watched the movie and saw a local theatre production of it this spring. I think we have done our fair share of celebrating it's well earned 50th. Few thin volumes offer so much to talk about. It was a spirited discussion. So nice to have as an example a lawyer with such strong convictions, a desire for the truth, and the desire to support his community and neighbors. I wish we could have more of this today.

To Kill a Mockingbird

When did you first read To Kill a Mockingbird? In 1963, for a school English assignment.
What did it mean to you? The story really had an impact on me because I lived for two school years in Des Moines Iowa where there was no segregation. Those two years were significant in forming the person I am today, in regard to equity, not judging a book by its cover, and joy in living. I learned that it’s OK to be curious about other people as long as I’m honest and forthright with my questions, and respect the answers that are shared with me. Scout was a character that I revered and used as a role model for the life I have led since reading the book. I have lived in VA since 1967. My experiences from attending school in Des Moines, and my personal ideas about race and people that were stimulated from reading To Kill a Mockingbird, helped me to be the person I intend to be and not allow the attitudes of my environment to change me.
Does the book have any relevance today? Yes!! The book is a guide to self-awareness, and the ability to ask questions, regardless of the subject, about things that bother us in our daily lives. A young person reading this book today, will experience the same impact of equity, that nothing seems as it appears, and that sometimes it’s OK to question authority, especially if the authority is acting on a misguided principle.
Did you see the movie before you read the book? No. I was actually disappointed in the movie because it did not generate the feelings that motivated Scout. It did illustrate her privileged life, which compounded her dilemma with the race relations in her community. Even though she revered her father, her frustration from his instructions and what she ultimately wanted to do now, those feelings were not as clear in the film as in the book. It did illustrate the double-meaning that exists when society tells us one thing, and we witness another. It’s really good that the film was made in close time proximity (1962) to the book (1960). This fact only reinforced the message that the book had already imparted.
Was the movie true to the book? Yes.
Would you read and discuss the book for one of your book club meetings? Absolutely, in fact we have already!

To Kill A Mockingbird

I taught this book for many years to my eighth graders, and they loved it. Interestingly, they complained that the movie (which I think is wonderful) left out too much. Of course, that is usually the case when books are made into movies.

A few years ago, I hosted To Kill A Mockingbird with my book club, and the members all found it as good as it was when they read it in school many years ago. It definitely stands the test of time.

To Kill a Mockinbird

Just a couple of days after the 50th anniversary of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' here I am writing about the indelible impact it made on me after I first read the book when I was in high school. Of course, it’s relevant today. The book is about growing up, coming to terms with the world around you, and in the process, putting a couple of lessons in your pockets. To me, the book is an expression of my faith in all the good things in life – love, compassion, understanding, and above, all, belief in yourself, in spite of the odds against you. That takes courage–real courage to go against the current. That’s the kind of courage Atticus Finch showed and that’s precisely the reason why he’s become one of the most popular characters in all of literature. I did see the movie and thought it did justice to the book. Gregory Peck, as Finch, was one of his most memorable roles of his career. I recently re-read the book for my English class and wanted to get various perspectives of it. Shmoop’s take on it was great!