June 4, 2015

Consider This Classic: Bella Recommends

Consider This Classic is a monthly feature where bloggers highlight and recommend their favorite classic. They'll tell you when they first read it, why they love it and where to go from there.

I absolutely love Bella from Ciao Bella's recommendation! It's one of my favorite classics, so I was thrilled when I saw she'd chosen it. I was also excited because Bella's submission actually introduced me to her blog, and it's absolutely adorable! So, please read her recommendation and her blog. I have a feeling you'll enjoy both!
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Publication Year: 1960
Originally Published In: United States
Amazon | Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
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 ten 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.
I first read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was in middle school. Always an avid reader, I asked my mom if she had any classics to recommend I read during my summer vacation. Her first suggestion? Harper Lee's first, and only, novel. I'm so glad she told me to give it a try, as To Kill a Mockingbird is still one of my favorite books today. I'll discuss Atticus Finch, young Scout, and Boo Radley with anyone ANY day, so I was delighted that I was able to revisit the story last year in English class. School is so much more fun when you're writing about a beloved classic!
To Kill a Mockingbird will always hold a dear place in my heart. Harper Lee writes of childhood innocence, racial inequality, and human nature with realism and hints of humor, reaching audiences of all ages. The characters in the Maycomb community are deeply flawed, especially from a modern standpoint, yet they remain beloved figures in literature. Though set in the 1930's and written at the height of the Civil Rights movement, To Kill a Mockingbird has just of big of an impact today as it did when it was first published. That, to me anyways, is a sign of a significant and well-written read. 

Because the novel frequently appears in school curriculums, I think it is easy to ignore the beauty of Lee's storytelling. Lee has a distinct and remarkable way with words, but I fear Scout's story can be lost amidst the essays and journals one must write on the book. It's no wonder, then, I push this classic on other people the most, whether they are experiencing the story for the first time or returning to Maycomb for a re-read!

Fortunately for To Kill a Mockingbird fans, there are many books that have similar themes or ideas as the beloved classic. 

Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage / Turnage's novel is another popular books, albeit for a different reason: it was a Newbury Honor book in 2013. The stories of To Kill a Mockingbird and Three Times Lucky are widely different, but both protagonists remind me of one another. Scout and Mo share a similar voice, and I have no doubt middle grade fans will adore this timeless mystery. 

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley / Talley's debut was recently published in 2014, and I have not stopped recommending it since I read it in November! Like To Kill a Mockingbird, the story tackles racism; however, Talley focuses her efforts in the late 1950's. It hurts to read of such dark times in American history, but it's an important topic to discuss. 

If you want even more To Kill a Mockingbird "read-alikes," I wrote up a whole post on the subject! Feel free to take a look here. And, of course, one can never discount the film version starring Gregory Peck as Atticus :)

3 comments:

  1. I'm so chuffed that a classic I've actually read (and loved!) has come up in this feature. I'm not a big classic reader, but I have a desire to try many of them, and I always keep an eye on this. I'm excited that this is one I adored!

    My Review:
    http://confessionsofabookgeek.com/2015/05/11/review-to-kill-a-mockingbird/

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  2. What a great recommendation, Bella! It's been a while since I've read To Kill a Mockingbird, but I remember being suitably impressed by the story and the characters. Just reading your thoughts on this one makes me want to revisit it - and I just might!

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  3. This book is one that reminds me of my mom as well! I remember being in middle school and watching the movie with her, and while I did read the book in high school, it's one where the movie stands out more to me. As for other similar reads, I think Wiley Cash's books read really similar. Somewhat interesting since his take place in the modern day, but there's just a similar feel to the books.

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