Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Scout, Atticus & Boo

I can hardly describe how excited I was to see the book Scout, Atticus & Boo by Mary McDonagh  Murphy at my favorite Canton, Illinois library! I had read about it last year when it was coming out, and then had totally forgotten about it.  In honor of To Kill A Mockingbird's 50th anniversary,  Ms. Murphy interviewed 26 various influential people (all in their own way) about their experiences of reading To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Anyway, the interviews are fascinating to read.  I especially enjoyed the ones by Tom Brokaw, Lee Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Alice Lee, Wally Lamb and Mary Badham (who played Scout in the movie).  I was sad that Gregory Peck is not around to add his opinion of the book!

I am sure that faithful readers of this blog have picked up that To Kill A Mockingbird is my all-time favorite novel (as the movie is also my all-time favorite).  I was either 11 or 12 years old when one weekend I was (as usual) spending the weekend with my grandparents.  My lovely, wonderful grandmother (see picture circa 1960) had the paperback edition of To Kill A Mockingbird laying out on the table, as she was in the midst of reading it.  I picked it up, and may not have put it down for the rest of the weekend.  I was absolutely enthralled with the book and finished it before it was time to go home.  That was about 50 years ago! Just another reason to love my grandmother!

Jump ahead about 11 or 12 years, and I was pregnant with my first child.  If the baby was a boy, he was to be called "Jem".  I had a girl, so no Jem!  But, again, that's how much I loved that book!

This past Christmas, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of To Kill A Mockingbird, I gave each of my 3 children copies of both the book and the movie, telling them that it is one of my legacies to them to be sure that they had my favorite book and movie!

As you can see, I feel strongly about To Kill A Mockingbird!  And now to have found a book where others are talking about their experiences of reading the book???   Heaven!  I loved reading the different interviews.  And I was so struck with the similarities, both among the interviewees and my own experiences of reading the book.  I would say that most of those interviewed first experienced the book around the same age that I did, which I thought was very interesting!  And like some, my first reading of the book, was primarily about the children, Atticus, and Boo Radley.  It wasn't until later readings that I fully experienced and appreciated what Ms. Lee was telling about the South.

If you are a fan of To Kill A Mockingbird, read Scout, Atticus and Boo.  You will definitely appreciate all the various opinions.  Just a word of warning, however: after reading it, be prepared to re-read the book and watch the movie!

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