{Review} I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD by Paul Acampora [Celebrate Harper Lee by Reading This!!!!]

Celebrate Harper Lee and (love it or hate it) the release of GO SET A WATCHMAN by reading a middle-grade novel connected with 
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD in a fun, interesting way!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

  MY MOTHER'S WHEELCHAIR does not fit through the bathroom door, and I don't know what to do about it. I pull the chair back an inch and then roll it into the door frame again. The clunk makes Mom sit up straight. "You have got to be kidding me," she says.   
(Page 1, US ARC Edition)

I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD by Paul Acampora is a great way to introduce young readers to both a classic piece of literature and the fun side of summer reading requirements.

Lucy, Michael, and Elena have been best friends for years. Now, they're about to enter high school together. This past school year, their favorite teacher had a heart attack and passed away. He'd intended for his students to read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD over the summer. The new teacher has assigned choices, and Lucy is mad that not everyone will choose TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. She and her friends plan out a social media campaign to get their classmates to choose the "right" book...and their idea goes viral and spins out of control!

It's so nice to see a book with young readers who are passionate, and I love that they wanted to honor their deceased teacher. I went to public school, and only one book on the Eighth to Ninth Grade Summer Reading List would have been a book we were familiar with (THE GIVER, which we had read in sixth grade, so that one felt "too young" as a choice against the other titles to me). I was amazed that these kids had read -- and loved -- most of those books already! I guess that's the power of a private Catholic school education! ^.~

In one big way, this book very much reminds me of DOLL BONES by Holly Black, which I adored. Lucy, Michael, and Elena are on the cusp of growing up. Lucy and Michael are beginning to have more than friendly feelings for one another and it's strange and new. I loved how Black worked that aspect into DOLL BONES and was excited to see the theme crop up in this novel as well. It's such an important time in an adolescent's life and not focused on nearly enough.

 I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD is a quick, fun read that touches on serious issues, bemoans the summer reading woes every student faces, and tips its hat to the viral world of social media that we encounter everyday.

It's great to see students caring about classic literature, especially a book as beloved as TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD! It's also nice to see that not every person can or will love the same titles, and I like that both views are present. Love it or hate it, everyone should read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD at least once in their lifetime!

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

It's cute and eye-catching! Also a little disturbing, when you think about it.

I like the creativity of the title ripping out of the cover, but it's also a nod to, well, killing a bird!

I also like all the leaves and branches organically filling up the space around the bird, making it appear as though every part of the cover has been touched and thought about!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: G ( blink and you miss it brush of lips; more about the feelings as your childhood friend and you begin to change )
Language: --
Violence: ---
Other: G ( teacher death; parental illness; talks about theft )

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Paul Acampora
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press / Macmillan
Received: For Review

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 book