I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora
Published by Macmillan on 2014-05-20
Genres: Adolescence, Books & Libraries, Friendship, Humorous Stories, Social Issues, Young Adult
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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 books.
I Kill The Mockingbird by Paul Acampora makes me love reading and want to read all the classics and want to go viral over something and desperately wish that it was based on a true story. Acampora’s book was the first book I read during the spring 2014 Dewey Readathon. Frankly, there is something to be said for reading a book in a single sitting. This was the perfect book to begin with because afterward, I wanted to pump my fist and tell everyone just how awesome books and reading and engaging with stories can be.
Lucy, Elena and Michael are three best friends who are about to enter high school. Their English teacher, however, will stay the same. As they go to Catholic school, they have summer reading. This summer, they’ve been assigned to read To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Lucy is excited because she has great taste in books and it is her favorite book of all time. However, not everyone is as excited as Lucy which makes her sad. You see, her previous English teacher,Mr. Robert “Fat Bob” Nowak died of a heart attack, and it was always his tradition to assign To Kill A Mockingbird as summer reading to eighth graders who are about to be high schoolers because they would be ready for it. Anyways, Lucy along with her best friends Elena and Michael, hatches a plan to get people talking about To Kill A Mockingbird and to make Lee’s classic go viral and become part of the conversation again. It’s a plan that involves reshelving the book and making people think there’s a limited supply, thus driving up demand. Will it work? Friends, you’ll have to read this book to find out.
I actually want to stop right here and point out that Acampora’s I Kill The Mockingbird has some really awesome writing and like, I actually dog-eared a page in the ARC because it was this wonderful passage about reading that really spoke to me. Now, I want to note that this quote is from an unfinished copy which means it is subject to change. I hope it doesn’t and stays right where it is, but here’s the quote that really spoke to me:
“‘You might be thinking that you’re already a good reader,’ Mr. Nowak said.
More than a couple of us shifted in our seats.
‘It’s not enough to know what all the words mean,’ he continued. ‘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,’ he told us, ‘you’re having a conversation.’
I raised my hand. ‘A conversation with you?’
‘With the characters in the book,’ said Mr. Nowak. ‘With the author. With friends and fellow readers. A book connects you to the universe like a cellphone connects you to the Internet.’ He tapped on the said of his head. ‘But if only works if your battery’s not dead.”
Guys, I just loved the characters of this book. They are sort of quirky, but in a way they you are like, okay this person is not annoying and they could be real. I could relate to Lucy’s love of Harper Lee’s classic. I could relate to Lucy’s crush on her friend and this whole worry about ruining the friendship. This book is pretty chaste though. I could relate to Mort, the used bookstore owner, and his love of books, all kinds of books and people who drive a hard bargain. I loved Elena and her creativity. I loved that this book is about characters who are so passionate about reading that they put on a secret, viral campaign for one book.
I just want to hand I Kill The Mockingbird by Paul Acampora out to people. Yes, it’s middle grade. Yes, one of the books you were probably forced to read in school plays a central role in this book. Yes, this book skews young. But, at it’s heart, it is all about making books a part of the conversation in our daily lives. Now, I know if you’re reading this books are a part of your conversation already, but I guess hmmm, my point that I am trying to make is that somehow this book made me feel part of a larger picture. I just really felt something for these kids and their efforts for making books viral. Passion speaks to me, I guess.