To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

About the book

‘Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’
A lawyer’s 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 thirties. 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.
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.
Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

Reviewed by New Forest – Waterside U3A Theatre and Waterside

A story, gripping from first to last with its eternal themes as important now as in 1960. Our group members were all able to visualize Maycomb and identify the spread of characters. Most had monochrome memories of Gregory Peck but these did not detract from their literacy assessment of this brilliant novel. It generated ninety minutes of wide ranging discussion.
Star rating: ****

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11 thoughts on “To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee”

  1. Reviewed by Southampton U3A
    A well constructed book, which we enjoyed. A realistic portrait of the racial divide in the American South in the 1930’s.
    Star rating: ****

  2. Reviewed by Petersfield U3A Book group 3
    Everyone enjoyed it as an insight into the minds of children, the different relationships. It deserves to be a classic.
    Star rating: ****

  3. Reviewed by The Accidental Reading Group
    Superb book. Language, characterisations, plot excellently progressed. Some of the group had read it previously but found even more to appreciate in the book.
    Star rating: ****

  4. Reviewed by Bridewell Reading Group
    Ground breaking for its time. Characters well described and developed. Insightful. Clear idea of small town prejudice in deep south. Real classic.

  5. Reviewed by Knackered Mums
    We loved it! Beautifully written. If you only ever read one book in your lifetime make sure it is this one.
    Star rating: ****

  6. Reviewed by Redhouse Reading Group
    A brilliant, sensitive novel told through the voice of a nine year old tomboy. A history lesson about the American deep south – as true today as it was in the thirties.
    Star rating ****

  7. Reviewed by Petersfield Library Reading Group
    All of the group felt the book well written, and although dealing with important issues and prejudice, an easy read.
    Star rating:****

  8. Review by Andover Reading Group:
    We all enjoyed the book. An insight into racial prejudice in the 1930’s America. It begged the question – how much have things changed?
    Rating: ****

  9. Review by Bookends Bookclub
    Everyone loved this book. The discussion seemed never ending, so many issues raised, leading to deep and meaningful thoughts concerning racism and the emergence in America of an afro-caribbean president. Super evening had by all!
    Star rating: ****

  10. Some of the group were new to this book and felt that other books on this subject were more interesting – they found it dated. Most were glad to have read it – very atmospheric, good characters and well written.
    Not a page turner – and none were interested in reading the “NEW” book!
    Rating: 3 ***

  11. Several of us had never read this book, how did we miss it!
    All but one of us found it an unforgettable novel. Well written with humour as well as tragedy. It generated a lot of discussion and a fear that there has not been enough change in attitudes to race since the 1930’s when this was set.
    It was a stroke of genius to have a child narrator viewing the situation without the baggage brought by age.
    Sadly the death of Harper Lee was announced as we read the book.
    4 stars

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