Sunday, February 2, 2014

I Kill the Mockingbird, by Paul Acampora

I loved I Kill the Mockingbird, by Paul Acampora, but unfortunately I don't think it's the type of book that would appeal to most of my students. They seem to hunger for books with adventure, big plots, mystery - this book doesn't really have any of those.

I Kill the Mockingbird is about three 8th graders: Lucy, Elena, and Michael. They're best friends and all attend the same school, at which Lucy's dad is the principal. Lucy's mom has recently returned home after a long hospitalization with cancer, and Elena lives with her uncle above the bookstore that he owns. During their eighth grade year, one of their favorite teachers, Mr. Nowak, dies of a heart attack. Their replacement teacher, Miss Caridas, assigns a list of options for summer reading, one of which is To Kill A Mockingbird.

In an effort to pay homage to Mr. Novak and force kids to read the book, they hatch a social media campaign to spark interest in the novel. They call their campaign "I Kill the Mockingbird", and begin to hide TKAM books at local bookstores and libraries to garner even more intrigue. Soon, people around the country are involved in the campaign, and it seems to be getting out of control.

My favorite quote from the book:

"You might be thinking that you're already a good reader...It's not enough to know what all the words mean. A good reader starts to see what an entire book is trying to say. And then a good reader will have something to say in return. If you're reading well, you're having a conversation."

I Kill the Mockingbird was smart and well-executed, but like I said, I don't think it will appeal to many of my students - it just doesn't seem to be the type of book they go for. I'll definitely recommend it, though, and hope one of them will fall in love with it and prove me wrong!

Publication Date: May 20, 2014

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