All parent member reviews for To Kill a Mockingbird

Parents say

(out of 20 reviews)
age 11+
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Parent of a 12 year old Written byTsion April 9, 2008

Stunning, Beautiful Novel with Wonderful Virtues and Messages.

To Kill a Mockingbird is wonderful. I read the book this weekend and absolutly loved it. It teaches wonderful lessons about tolerance, justice, racism, prejudice, and courage, among others. The content is iffy. Real curse words are seldom used, but n****r is frequently said. Violence is one of the biggest issues. It's described, but never graphically shown. A man is stabbed with a knife while trying to kill children, legend has it that an insane neighbor eats birds and rabbits. A wrongly accused man is shot seventeen times while trying to escape jail. No sex is shown, but a rape case is handled in mild terms and it briefly talks about a "wrong" infatuation between a white woman and black man. So, you decide on this one. The content is iffy, but the book teaches wonderful messages that all should hear.
Educator and Parent of a 11 year old Written byhollandh October 31, 2014

so many levels to enjoy this book

I listened to the audio with my 10 year old (sissy spacek read it, yes please!!) Everyone thought she was too young. She absolutely was not. Shelearned so much from the book about history, empathy, human nature, and justice. Now, i cried like 8 times, she didnt get a lot of the tragedy or poignancy but she loved the adventures of scout and jem. And she has read it twice since, the narrative voice is so appealing and real. about the rape...thats what i was concerned about. I told her the yules (sp?) Accused tom of attacking maella (sp? Again....cut me some slack, it was the audio! ) and she was satisfied with that. However, of course scout asks calpurnia "what is rape?" To which cal ingeniously responds "ask your dad"...to which atticus tells her "carnal knowledge of a woman without her consent". Thats the extent of the graphic nature of the book. As for the N word, good opportunity to teach your kid how hideous the word is and how much painful history is bwhind a word thrown around so carelessly these days. And thats not enough to sway you from reading this with your child, letting them read it and reading it yourself as an adult. An absolute work of art. Perfection.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 5, 9, 11, and 14 year old Written byJamesRobertson January 4, 2009
Adult Written byannproberts April 9, 2008

One of my favorite stories EVER. Read the book, then see the movie.

This story is told as a flashback, in the point of view of a young girl growing up in a small southern rural town during the 1930's. It is one of the most powerful "coming-of-age" stories ever written. Scout, the narrator encounters racism, violence, prejudice, jealousy, acceptance/rejection, stereotypes, and social struggles as she realizes the dangers, powers, excitement, and frenzy of growing up.
Adult Written bysgsells April 9, 2008

Outdated

Comfy and convenient for white readers. Outdated, though!
Parent of a 4 year old Written bylove_to_read_2 March 4, 2010

Timeless classic that offers many lessons to readers

Atticus, the father, is an exceptional role model who went against the grain during the time the book is set in order to remain true to himself and his ideals. Some of the other characters are a reminder of how far the south has come since times of segregation. Readers can learn from any number of themes present in the novel- importance of education, issues with intolerance, class and race segregation, importance of family, and many others.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byontherun April 9, 2008

A great story about respect

I remember seeing the movie when I was a kid. I'm really glad that I read the book though it has so much more. I'm reading it to my 11 year old. It is a great story about respecting others. Atticus doesn't preach to his kids he gently guides them to respect everyone. I would recommend this as a family read for all kids 5th or 6th grade and up and then watch the movie and compare it to the book.
Adult Written byHeroneSilverton April 9, 2008

Beautiful

This is a beautifully written book, one of my all-time favourites. I am so glad that this has become required reading, because it really is fantastic. There are mature themes in this book however, so I would recomend it to 13 and up.
Adult Written bymoviemadness April 9, 2008

A must-read for 13+

This book is a wonderful look at the south and people's attitudes. Its amazing insights and powerful message is inspiring and genuine. It is not inappropriate for children under thirteen, but the messages and reading level mean that a person must be enough advanced to get everything out of it.
Adult Written byblueduck6 October 29, 2010
I think this is a great book for kids who understand (and want to understand) the racism and prejudice in the history of America, and it can be great for parents to talk to their kids about how society has changed . There are the concerns of very mild violence (our kids are exposed to much more serious violence much earlier - so it isn't much of a problem), the use of rude slang for African-Americans (this issue needs to be addressed to the kids so that they don't use it around their friends, teachers, etc), and the fact that the rape of a white woman is an intergroup part of the book (understanding rape and the consequences, how wrong it is, etc, may help). The good points are that the novel contains great role models such as Atticus, who teaches his kids that prejudice, racism, etc is wrong. Scout - who's age ranges from six to nine in the novel - portrays adult issues very well for a naive mind. Must keep in mind that the language used (1930's slang, pronunciation, grammar, etc), so parents may need to explain some words. But once you get into the style of writing, it'll be interesting to the end. Give it a go!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byDaddon April 9, 2008

It was interesting

Parent Written bymemok February 20, 2012

The rights for everyone in American

This is a very interesting book on how our fellow americans were unfairly treated
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 4 and 7 year old Written byhannahrose April 28, 2011

A Must-Read

A wonderful look at the issues or racism and the southern justice system through the eyes of a child. Some themes are a bit mature for 12, I think. But, over-all, I agree with the CommonSense review.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byPaulo reader October 5, 2015

To Kill a Mockingbird

I just read it and I think it was amazing how it explored racism in a time when it seemed natural. When Dill understands how black people are prejudiced against, I realized that he must have not thought about it that way before. There is some violence at times but they are not gory etc. I enjoyed the metaphor of killing a mockingbird, which meant to kill for no reason when the target only ever did good things to us. Boo Radley or Arthur, was a symbol of someone who actually understood how everything was so terrible and hid from it. He also helped Scout and Jem a few times. But my favorite part was the trial. It was astounding to see what was actually acceptable and what was absolutely unspeakable. I found Atticus as a very responsible, calm role model and a great lawyer. Some parts were very sad, but I understand how they were part of the story. Overall, it was a very influential story and was very educational.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byhools September 16, 2016

Audiobook is fantastic

Just noting that the Audible version of this book with Sissy Spacek as the narrator is fantastic.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Parent of a 11, 15, and 18+ year old Written byJulieKryger1970 January 5, 2009
Adult Written bySdoty1961 July 25, 2016

Thoughts on TKAM

I loved this book (and its now published first draft, "Go Set A Watchman") The storyline has been well described in other reviews. In my opinion, the book provides an excellent opportunity to provide context for our nation's continued racial tensions. Seeing the segregated South through the lens of children who (unknown to themselves) were privileged provides an excellent opportunity for discussion about why people see the same incident in so many different ways. Quotes from Atticus ('to know a person you really need to walk in his shoes' and 'most people really are nice once you get to know them') are incredibly relevant and, at least in our home, resulted in wonderful conversation. I confess that as an adult, I found the coming of age/character analysis aspect of this story even more compelling (particularly when put together with the first draft of TKAM - 'Go Set A Watchman'). I have been shocked by those that label the genre of the book as 'Southern Gothic'. I find nothing grotesque in the theme and while one of the secondary characters might be construed as delusional - it is (IMHO) tangential to the themes of the book. I think it is a great family read for a mature 11 - 13 year old. The language is beautiful but may be a little off putting for kids that age which is why I think it makes a good family read.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written byJjHraiser2211 January 11, 2016
very great book, many uses of the"n-word" but it fits with the time the story takes place in.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bydancer chick April 9, 2008

A very thought provoking book

Adult Written bywinfall April 9, 2008

A Classic

A great book. Some people may find the words "rape" and "nigger" offensive.