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Never Kill A Mockingbird

Hi Everyone!
I was all set to write in my MS tonight. I had it all planned. But, I can’t let banned-books week go by without saying how I feel about it and censorship in general. And to tell a tale of one lowly high school freshman…

The uber-wonderful and talented Tahereh is organizing a Best Banned Book Bonanza! Many other bloggers are participating in banned-books week by reviewing their favorite banned book. Check them all out!! You can find the list Here!

If you want to see ALA’s list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged books ’00-’09 Check it out Here I’ll wait… *checks email, facebook, twitter*

Yeah. Unbelievable, right?

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee is on that list. So is THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger, another that changed me.

But. Today I’m going to talk about my love for a mockingbird and a father who shows that man can be brave, even when, alone in his convictions.

Quick blurb in case you haven’t read it yet…

“Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus–three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman.” – Amazon.com Review.

You know, I read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school. I didn’t read a lot then. In fact, *gasp* I didn’t really like books that much. I wasn’t a book person. I know. Awful right?

So when we were assigned to read it my freshman year… my thoughts were, “What the heck is a Mockingbird? and why do I have to read about not killing it.”

I know. I was not the quickest fork in the drawer.

So. I read it. Holy shabangawoo. I loved it. I learned something too. Yay!

It was the beginning of me learning about injustice and the heart of man, the bravery of one against many, the wrong in the world. It made me start to ask questions of myself, of the people around me.

I began to understand the Mockingbird and how it’s a symbol.

So. When I think about censorship, and of that book in particular. I think. How tragic it would have been if my school didn’t have that book to give me. And about the lessons I would have lost, and the wonderful words of Harper Lee’s I would have missed out on.

Censorship is about taking the right to choose away from you.

Look at the list. Read them. Learn. Ask questions.

Speak Loudly.

Have a great weekend!

10 Responses to “Never Kill A Mockingbird”

  1. Misha says:

    Great post!

    I completely agree with you. Censorship is so short sighted.

  2. Melissa says:

    This post is excellent! You summed it up so well and I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  3. Totally agree! And To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my all time favorites. I can’t believe it’s on the list.

  4. I loved To Kill a Mockingbird and I love teaching it even more. Great post, Erica! 🙂

  5. JEFritz says:

    Ban To Kill a Mockingbird? Ridiculous. I read it in eighth grade, when I was thirteen. Yes, it talked about rape (although it was pretty obvious Tom was innocent).

    What no one ever does is give a reason why reading about that is actually a problem. Shielding kids from knowledge doesn’t erase it’s existence, particularly in the internet age; instead, it exacerbates the problem.

    I liked To Kill a Mockingbird. I think it’s something everyone should read because of how well it captures that era of life and because it’s simply a great read. The fact that it’s one of the topped banned books is infuriating.

  6. Very cool. Now I am going to have to read it.
    The notion of banning books is ABSURD! I can’t believe people are so narrow minded! Glad you are speaking out about it.

  7. Great comments. Thank you!

    JE – You are so on, they don’t give a reason, probably because they’d be ashamed to say what the reason really is!

    Tabitha – Yes, read it!! It’s sooo good, then when you’re done, watch the movie, cause that’s good too ;o)

  8. Great post! I adore Mockingbird. It is such a powerful book. I love the layers in it – you can read it on so many levels – and learn something new each time. The injustice in the book hits hard and sticks with you. I believe it is a must read for everyone!

  9. Thoughtful post! Maybe as writers, our goal should be to write a book worthy of being banned.

  10. Great point, Mohamed! We should ;o)

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