Author: Paul Acampora
Publication: Roaring Brook Press (May 20, 2014)
Description: 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.
My Thoughts: There is nothing I like more than a well-written book about devoted readers. Lucy, Elena and Michael are in the summer before ninth grade. They are looking at their summer reading lists and finding that they have already ready most of them. They are also remembering their former English teacher who died of a heart attack at school. They know that he would only have assigned TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD for summer reading.
Despite having different feelings about MOCKINGBIRD, they come up with a plan to encourage people to read it by making it scarce. They start a website called IKilltheMockingbird.com and begin hiding copies of the book in bookstores and libraries. Through the power of social media, their campaign goes viral. It quickly gets to be much larger than they had anticipated.
Besides their Mockingbird campaign, other things are happening this summer too. Lucy and Michael are making the first move toward being more than friends and beginning to date. Lucy is also dealing with her mother's recovery from cancer. She had been so afraid of losing her that, now that she is cured, she is unsure that she can accept that her mother is all right.
I loved the friendships between the three kids. I also loved that the adults in the book were loving, supportive, and present in their children's lives. I loved the relationship Elena's Uncle Mort has with the kids as they make his used bookstore their clubhouse. I also really liked the relationship that Lucy has with both her parents.
This story is filled with quotable passages about life, friendship and literature. I thought it was an excellent story.
"Are you going to die or not?" I ask my mother.I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.
Mom points to the gravesites all around us. "We all die, Lucy. Me. You. Everybody. But you know what we do first?"
I shake my head.
"We pretend that it's not going to happen. We make believe that we're never going to die. Do you know what that's called?"
"Lying?" I say.
"Living, Lucy. It's called living. That's what I'm going to do now. So please stop tip-toeing around the house because you're afraid the loud noises might disturb me. Please stop giving me carrots and granola and organic skim milk. Please stop looking at me like I might fall and break into a million pieces any minute. It's depressing."