50th Anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird
Posted by Caitie F on July 11, 2010
50 years ago today, Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published. This anniversary has caused a lot of discussion around the blogs, including an article on Entertainment Weekly that asks if it would be published as YA today. I also know there was an article where someone said it was not the great book everyone claims (I cannot find the link, if you know where it is, let me know in the comments!). I cannot agree with that analysis at all, but I have seen other blogs about that, so i Thought I would share my experiences with the classic.
I read To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time when I was only nine years old. I know that is really early to read the book, but I was already reading at a ninth or tenth grade level, and I asked my mom for something good to read that was different. She loved the book when she was younger an thought that I would be able to relate to Scout in some ways, and also thought it would be a great way to make me think about/ learn about some issues. I remember talking to her about a lot of different things in the book, including some that I did not understand. I also remember that I absolutely loved the book.
I reread it in fifth grade and seventh grade, and each time I got a little more out of the book. I understood more of the issues and situations. The book really impacted my beliefs and Atticus was a role model of what it meant to do what was right.
I also had to read it as my summer reading for 10th grade advanced English. I was very happy to see the book on the list, not only because it would be easy for me since I had read it multiple times already, but also because I was really looking forward to analyzing it in a class. This was also the first class I had with my favorite teacher of all time, Ms. Bibbee. I loved her and her class so much that I was her aide for three years during my study hall, and when I got put in the other AP English class, I became her aide for her period of it and basically had AP English two periods in a row. My first paper for her was on Miss Maudie and it is one of the best papers I ever wrote. In her thirty years of teaching, I was the only advanced/AP student who got an A on the first write of the first paper. It was such a big deal she bragged about it to my brother’s AP class.
I would like to say that it was because I was such an amazing writer and I would have done it with any book, but I know it is because I loved and treasured To Kill A Mockingbird so much. I wanted to give the character the analysis that she deserved. I wanted to figure out what she taught me, and how the book impacted my life.
The only work of literature that has impacted me more than this is the Harry Potter series (hmmm I feel another blog post coming on…).
Did To Kill A Mockingbird have an impact on you? Did you hate it (I won’t judge you too much!)? Did you love it? Was there a book that had that kind of impact on you?Let me know in the comments!