'Shoot all the Bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a Mockingbird.' Lawyer Atticus Finch gives this advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel - a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much...A benchmark of classic American literature, To Kill A Mockingbird approaches the highly sensitive topic of racism in 1930s America with humour, warmth and compassion, making it widely recognised as one of the best books of the twentieth century and in American literature.
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(178mm x 110mm x 20mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
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US Kirkus Review »
A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy - and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference - but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Reviewed by amandaw (18 Feb 2014)
Fantastic book. I read To kill a Mockingbird for high school English class and have since bought myself a copy. Lots of unexpected twists in this book. Definitely not a book to judge by its cover. Harper Lee done a fantastic job at writing a book that everyone should read about just "pigeon holing" people and believing everything you hear. Based in 1930's Alabama it covers everything including race and racism and many other topics (that would give story away too much if I spoke of them). A book everyone should read at least once in their lives as it will change the way you think and view things in your life and society. I honestly couldn't put it down.
Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Reviewed by Aim4theNeck (19 Feb 2011)
I only decided to read this book because I had read lots of books of which the characters always seem to comment about how good this book is, so I thought right that's the next one I'm going to read. And I'm so glad I did. I knew it was about a black man charged with rape of a white girl, and as I started reading I was thinking why are we hearing from this girl 'Scout' where's the guy? But after a couple of pages I forgot all about the guy and fell into Scout and Jem's world. What wonderful lessons this little girl teaches us. Atticus is such a wonderful man and father, if only the world was full of Atticus'.
Author Biography - Harper Lee
Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, a village that is still her home. She attended local schools and the University of Alabama. Before she started writing she lived in New York, where she worked in the reservations department of an international airline.
She has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, two honorary degrees and various other literary awards. Her chief interests apart from writing are nineteenth- century literature and eighteenth- century music, watching politicians and cats, travelling and being alone.