A Mockingbird Anniversary

Aside from gaining me an education, high school was important and enlightening for several other reasons. There was the suspected girl-girl kiss in the sports supply room one day after netball practice, the scandal of the girl who fell pregnant and subsequently disappeared from the school, my first proper introduction to the music of The Beatles, and the study of a book called, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. Can you believe it’s been 50 years since it was first published?

It’s a book that made a lasting impression on me (even though it’s been years since I’ve read it, I often think about it). As part of our studies of the text, we also watched the film – so Gregory Peck made a lasting impression on me as well.

  • Atticus Finch taught me that doing the right thing is always right, even though it will likely take a lot of strength, and may make you more than a little unpopular with some people.
  • Scout showed me that it’s OK to be smart AND a tomboy (something this tomboy has always been grateful for).
  • Boo Radley reminded me to not judge other people so quickly.
  • Gregory Peck demonstrated that both he and three-piece suits are timeless.

Do you love ‘To Kill A Mockingbird too’? Or has a different book made a big impression? Gosh, what do you think you’ll be up to when you’re 50? (I plan on writing from a worn wooden desk within a country cottage in France).

10 Comments

  1. Lee Sargent

    All I read then was girl-girl kiss…

    I’m sleeping on the couch aren’t I?

    Damnit.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Mmm, trust you to get stuck on THAT part of my ‘Mockingbird’ story … sometimes you’re such a boy! 😛

  2. Caz

    I’ve always loved ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ too – both film and book. I think I’ve taken some of the same lessons from the work as you have. My Dad was a country lawyer with dark hair and a lovely deep voice and like Atticus he had a very deeply-rooted sense of fairness so it reminds me of him too. Like you I first read it as a teenager but it seems like only yesterday that I bought the special hardcover 35th anniversary edition when I was working in a bookshop – my how times flies.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Caz – To Kill A Mockingbird is such a wonderful book and film. I really must read the book again very soon. I watched the movie again not too long ago as my husband had never seen it before – I think I found it more moving the second time around … or maybe it’s just that I’m getting older.

      It’s lovely that you had such a personal connection with the story – given that your dad was a country lawyer, and shared so many similarities with Atticus.

      That special edition you have must be a lovely thing to own. And yes, time sure does fly (though I do kind of regret never getting the chance to work in a bookstore … though perhaps it was just the same as other retail work).

  3. jan

    I read the book when it first came out and ran around trying to get people to read this amazing book. There was another teacher at the school, a pseudo-intellectual twit, who sneered, “It’s written by a child.”

    Pulitzer, anyone?

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Jan – I think so many people must have been strong ‘brand ambassadors’ for To Kill A Mockingbird when it came out … there’s nothing more wonderful than sharing the love of a fantastic book with other people. I can’t believe you had a teacher at school who dismissed the book like that … shows how much they knew!!

  4. Andrea

    One of my all time favorite books.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Andrea – To Kill A Mockingbird is wonderful indeed … I think a lot of us have a special place in our hearts for it (and perhaps especially Atticus and Scout).

  5. Susan

    Great, great book. I pull it off the shelf and re-read it about once a year. It never gets old.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Susan – How wonderful that you re-read To Kill A Mockingbird so often … I would love to revisit old book friends like that more frequently, but never seem to find the time. Though I definitely will commit to reading it again soon.

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