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#BBW Banned Book Week Guest Post :To Kill a Mockingbird & a [email protected]@y!

I read To Kill A Mockingbird when I was ____ years old and in ____ th grade.

I can’t remember when I read it.  Maybe sometime in middle school?  9th grade?  No idea.

I know exactly when I read George Orwell’s Animal Farm because I read it under extreme duress.  10th grade.  1 weekend.  Laying on my bedroom floor.  Thank God it was brief.

But much to its credit, Mockingbird just sort of floats in my memory as a book I took in somewhere along the way.

I remember feeling such a surge of sensitivity for Jem and Scout as they tried to simply be kids in a tumultuous time and place.  In comparison to them, my childhood was very easy.  I wasn’t defending my father in public places for a decision that he made based on his ethical standards.  That’s got to be brutal and I can’t relate.

Harper Lee could have chosen to have the entire story orbit around race relations, but her introduction of Boo Radley was special.  Aside from the seriousness of their father’s professional duties, Jem, Scout, and Dill had a little project of their own in discovering just what Boo was all about.  I know that my friends and I used to speculate about people in town, or people living on a certain street.  I am pretty sure all kids are hardwired to do that sort of thing because they like mystery and secrets and are crafty enough to come up with stories of their own if something doesn’t readily present itself.  I found that aspect of the story very relatable.

To Kill A Mockingbird is a beautiful book that I feel should be read and discussed.  To understand what is happening now is to understand what happened in the past.  Readers are more openminded today than ever.  We should all be reading books that were banned to better understand those that read before us.  What scared them makes us think.  We have the privilege of seeing things differently and with a broader scope, and shame on us if we don’t take advantage of that.  The real crime isn’t reading a banned book; it’s being afraid to find out what lies between its covers.

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I couldn’t agree more that banned books help us understand things that we don’t understand. While I did not enjoy reading Mockingbird in the near recent past, my opinion does not negate this book and its importance in any way.  In fact, prolly makes it invaluable.  Thanks to Maggie Mitchell for bringing this heartfelt post.  You can find my Mags at The Grey Blog.

Maggie Mitchell is a full-time mama to a magical little girl and publisher at Bushbaby Press.  Maggie has written two children’s books–The Big Stink! in 2011, and Kacey the Paper Cat in 2012.  She (occasionally) writes a personal blog called The Grey Blog and contributes to Handmade in PA, the community blog of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen with her column “Buy, Buy Baby.”

Maggie is a graduate of Elizabethtown College and West Chester University.  She lives very happily in West Chester, PA with her husband, daughter, and Kacey, the Paper Cat.


Find out more about Maggie on her website at, and on Facebook at

To KICK OFF Banned book week, I’m joining forces with Sheila at Book Journey and celebrating BANNED BOOKS by giving away a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.  If you haven’t read it, now’s your chance!

Easy peasy lemon squeezy entry:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Books Challenges

It’s Monday and I’m Reading…

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Synopsis from

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Ok, so WHY am I reading this?  Two great reasons:

  1. I originally chose the title back in September for Banned Books week but didn’t get to it.
  2. My favorite book store, Trappe Book Center, which hosts my favorite book club, chose the title for the January meeting.

This gives me double the reason to read the book, right? What’s that you say (cupping ear)? Didn’t I read that in High School or College?  No.  I don’t remember. But I did see the movie. Ok some of it. Ok I’ve seen the scene with Gregory Peck in it. But anyway, what a great time to catch up on this famous read, right?

My take so far…Like!

Take a moment and head over to BookJourney and see what others are reading this Monday.  Go on…scoot!

Books Diversity

It’s Monday and I’m Reading…

It’s Monday and I’m reading…

..  I’m sure I’m like a lot of book lovers out there who read more than one book at a time, right?  While I love children and young adult literature, I also enjoy reading other genres that I don’t necessarily blog about.  I will admit, however, that my other reading interests are not as wide as they should be.  But I’m learning and open to suggestions!

Here’s what’s on my nightstand:

The Lost Dogs by Jim GoranThe Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant.  The story is more about the rehabilitation of the dogs and less (thankfully) about Michael Vick.  I can’t get enough of stories about dogs.

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.  This is part of the Banned books series that I’m doing. This is not the edition that I have, which I’m glad, cuz the cover is a little creepy-ish.

The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen.  Pumpkin enjoys this author and asked me to read this book, which she enjoyed.  So I am.

What title(s) are you currently reading?   Dite-moi!