"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

03 December 2014

I Kill the Mockingbird

Acamopra, Paul. I Kill the Mockingbird. Roaring Brook Press, 2014.

Lucy, Elena, and Michael are all rising freshmen in a small town where their 8th grade English teacher will also be their freshman English teacher. She assigns a book list for summer reading, and Lucy is determined to get more of her classmates to read and love her favorite off of that list: Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. The trio create a scarcity of Lee's classic by relocating the book within bookstores and libraries in their area and utilizing social media to spread the word about the missing tomes. Their site quickly goes viral and then they must decide how to stop it before it gets out of hand.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The booknerd/bibliophile in me loves the literary references and the scene where the trio are digging through the weeded books discarded in the library's recycling bin. I love that the kids use social media to popularize their project and that it spirals farther than they could ever have imagined. I think the writing style is perfectly appropriate for children. However, I don't imagine many teens, even young teens, acting the way the trio acted; they seemed overly childish in the book. The simple solution would be to make them rising 7th graders instead of 9th graders, which would make their words/actions fit better with their age, but then the booklist for class would become problematic (more so than it already is - who assigns both Dickens and Lois Lowry?). The idea behind this book is clever and it was enjoyable to read, but I doubt many kids who would enjoy this book would be ready to enjoy Harper Lee's classic or many of the other books mentioned in the story.

Recommended for: middle grade, tweens
Red Flags: none
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Read-Alikes: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, The Grimm Legacy,

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