#COLLABOREADS // Banned book

September 25-October 1 is Banned Books Week, a time to highlight free expression in written form and to shed light on books that have been challenged and banned. For #COLLABOREADS, we were challenged to pick a banned/challenged book to review this month (see HERE for classics that have been banned/challenged).

My choice was an easy one. A book I read twice in high school and have been wanting to re-read, To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic that has stood the test of time ... and challengers. Since the 1970s, it has been challenged for a variety of reasons, including profanity, racial slurs, and rape references (see a more detailed list HERE).

To Kill A Mockingbird is a timeless coming-of-age tale told from a child's perspective during a shifting time in her small town when the fight for racial equality and prejudice rocked the core of an otherwise sleepy Southern town. Weaving hilarious stories of kids being kids in the first half of the book and then moving to a more serious tone with the trial of an innocent African-American man accused of raping a white girl, Harper Lee knit together a masterpiece that deserves to be read time and time again without fear of censorship. 

Riveting: What part of the book could you NOT get enough of?
ALL OF IT. Seriously. I love Lee's descriptive prose. I love the nostalgic feel of small-town America. I love Atticus, Boo Radley, Calpurnia, and of course Scout and Jem. I love the way wise words of Atticus and his bravery to stand against the racism of his town. 

Elements: How did you relate to/care for the characters? 
My heart broke for the injustice of an innocent Black man being accused of something he didn't do, which of course is not limited to a fictional tale, but happened during that time period as well as generations before and afterward. We are still fighting injustices here in America, so this book is timely, heartbreaking, and challenging in the ways we view those who are different than us whether in the color of their skin, their culture, sexual orientation, or anything else that may set them as being different from what we are used to.

Associate: What other books are like this one?
I recently read Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk and it reminded me a lot of TKAM because of some similar elements and writing style.

Design: What did you think of it?
There are so many different cover designs for this classic. My copy had the same cover design as the high school copy I read over twelve years ago. The mockingbird, the hole in the tree that the kids would find treats in, and the overall dark feel of the cover are pretty fitting.

Stars: How many out of five do you give this book? Would you recommend this book to a friend?
5 out of 5 stars! If you haven't read it, read it! If you read it as a teen, read it again! I feel like I gain something new every time I read it. 


If you want to hear about more banned books that were read this month, hop over to the link-up!


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