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!
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!