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Monday, July 7, 2014

I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora

Hi there!
Welcome back, fellow readers and read-ettes, so the site that loves nothing better than the smell of pages in the morning…Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Here’s hoping you had a great 4th of July celebration and whether it was spent with family, friends, coworkers, or on your own, you had a few moments to let freedom ring in your own fashion.  Kicking off the after party, we’ve got a special pick today coming to us from the Children’s Fiction genre.  It celebrates a work of literature that’s been both on the “banned book” list as well as “fan favorite” lists for many decades, in a whole new way.  Ready to take a classic and shove it into the faces of the crowd like Stromboli did with Pinocchio?  Here we go!  Today’s book of choice is…

Roaring Brook Press

About the book…
When Lucy, Elena, and Michael receive their summer reading list, they are excited to see To Kill A Mockingbird included. But not everyone in their class shares the same enthusiasm. So they hatch a plot to get the entire town talking about the well-known Harper Lee classic. They plan controversial ways to get people to read the book, including re-shelving copies of the book in bookstores so that people think they are missing and starting a website committed to “destroying the mockingbird.” Their efforts are successful when all of the hullabaloo starts to direct more people to the book. But soon, their exploits start to spin out of control and they unwittingly start a mini revolution in the name of books.


It’s as bookishly fun as it sounds while celebrating an AMAZING classic…that if you haven’t read, you really should!    It was the little things in this one that kept me turning pages as opposed to the bigger picture.  Lucy’s friendship with Elena and Michael…life long chums if there ever were.  I could totally see them catching up later on down the road of life and things being just as simple, just as easy going.  Michael and Lucy’s possible something more…because really, you doesn’t want to see two great people make a go of it?  The conversations between the characters were also highly entertaining and witty, giving the fiction that extra touch of reality.  There were several places I simply had to stop and share a brief passage with someone…ANYONE!  (Ever had that happen?  ^_^)  For example…around page 10 there is a section where they contemplating W.W.F.B.D. (stands for “what would fat bob do” but it’s not as mean as it sounds, promise!) and Lucy is thinking back on what their teacher said about assigning them To Kill A Mockingbird as their ONLY summer reading title next summer.  When they were questioning why they weren’t good enough readers to try to book now…

“It’s not enough to know what all the words mean,” he continued.  “A good reader starts to see what an entire book is trying to say  And then a good reader will have something to say in return.  If you’re reading well,” he told us, “you’re having a conversation.”
I raised my hand.  “A conversation with who?”
“With the characters in the book,” said Mr. Nowak.  “With the author.  With friends and fellow readers.  A book connects you to the universe like a cell phone connects you to the Internet.”  He tapped on the side of his head.  “But it only works if your battery’s not dead.”

…see what I mean?  Profound yet witty and definitely memorable.  There are other exchanges that are quicker and less bookish but delightful nonetheless.  I shall allow you to discover those on your own for time and space sake.  *wink

On the other hand, though I enjoyed the read, I was left confused at times as I sorted out what was going on and why.  I’m not sure if I was distracted or if the connection with the characters just wasn’t as strong as I wanted it to be, but the message, the purpose behind their antics felt lost to me at times…just a blip in the background.  Then again, that could have been the very point intended by the author for as busy as our lives are and as important as growing up is, works of literature are still there, still count for something meaningful to our day to day.  For the bookish, they are the blood in our veins, the nectar to our souls…but that doesn’t mean that life, love, and everything else takes a formal backseat to it all either.  They intertwine and blend to create a powerful masterpiece both uplifting and nurturing.  Hmm…something to think about.

In conclusion, a book about a book…or rather what happens when your love of a book needs an outlet and it goes GLOBAL.  (Okay, okay…not global but cross country at least!)  I loved seeing a title like this celebrated in not only print but by youthful characters as it seems more often that not, their reactions are cringe worthy.  It’s great to see that other percentage of teen readers represented as well as how BIG their influence with their peers and in society really is.  Recommended read for older readers in the Kids Fiction genre as well as adults.  There’s a little something for everyone with clean content and life lessons learned.  Oh, and one more thing….please DO NOT GET ANY IDEAS of doing this in your own bookstores around the world (re-shelving, hiding books, etc) .  Those that work they will find you out and stare daggers at you in the most reasonable of cases… *prepares to glare*


About the author….

Paul Acampora is a avid reader, an enthusiastic dad, and a ferocious fan of being human. Paul lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two kids. Paul is a frequent contributor to the Scholastic Storyworks magazine. I Kill the Mockingbird is his third novel for young readers.

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ARC for review courtesy of Ksenia at MacMillan Children’s Publishing Group.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, be sure to stop by their official site, friend them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  This book was released May 2014 via Roaring Brook Press, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time…happy reading!


Tracy Terry said...

Oh dear, I'd most definitely be in the group not to share their enthusiasm.

I love the idea of this book though as it sounds like a great way to explore our feelings about literature.

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