Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Kill the Mockingbird

If there was ever a novel written for the spark of a 12 year old who remains inside me, it might be I Kill the Mockingbird. A book written about a classic with references to many other books in nearly every chapter, love. I Kill the Mockingbird details the rather ordinary lives of 3 young teens. The each love classic literature; a love not shared by many in their English class especially when the summer reading list is delivered. In homage to a former (deceased) English teacher who planned to only assign To Kill a Mockingbird for summer reading, they search for ways to bring the spotlight back to this beloved American classic, including reshelving copies of the book in their local bookstores and libraries and starting a website titled IKillTheMockingbird.com. Once social media begins chattering about I Kill the Mockingbird, their scheming moves like wildfire beyond the borders of their state and through various parts of the country. Ultimately, these young teens must decide how to handle the firestorm they've created and keep To Kill a Mockingbird from disappearing from bookstores altogether.

I Kill the Mockingbird perfectly blends humor and thoughtfulness bringing alive young teens in a novel that's not quite middle grade and not quite YA, a nice bridge actually for 7th-9th graders who might have moved beyond standard MG but not be quite ready for the heady topics often present in YA novels. The two quotes I'm posting below are perfect examples of the witty, intelligent writing that make IKM a page-turning, fun read:

"We will speak for the books." 
"Like the Lorax?" 
"The Lorax speaks for the trees," I remind her. 
"Books are made out of paper. Paper is made out of trees." 
"What about e-books?" 
"We can speak for them too." 
"Audiobooks speak for themselves." She grins. "Get it?" 

"Where did you hide your Mockingbirds?" he asks. 
"Ornithology," she replies. 
"You hid TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD with the bird books?" I ask. 
Elena shrugs. "I was being ironic."