Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fifty Years Later--Mockingbird Message Still Sings

Our rainy weather provides a great excuse to sit back and enjoy an old movie, so that's exactly what I did last weekend. I had been assigned to read To Kill a Mockingbird way back in high school and found it charming and haunting and memorable. When the movie came out in 1962, I was still a child. I'm sure my mother would not have taken me to see such an "adult" movie. By the time I was old enough to watch it, I leaned toward less literary movies and was more likely to watch The Graduate or Blazing Saddles.

But since this year is the fiftieth anniversary of the book, I decided to watch the movie and realized that I HAD NEVER SEEN it. What a magnificent movie it is! Gregory Peck at his finest. Black and white film at its best. The most remarkable child actors! And of course, the genius of Harper Lee's story.

There's a new book out called, Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird that is a collection of essays by celebrites who describe the impact that To Kill A Mockingbird had on them. The folks at HarperCollins are helping us plan a celebration for the book's anniversary with several events at the library this fall. I really hope we can show the movie and introduce a whole new generation to the story. We're considering a To Kill A Mockingbird contest too, asking people to tell us what the book has meant to them. We're also planning book discussions and perhaps a panel discussion about the book's relevance fifty years later.

If you love To Kill A Mockingbird, we'd love to hear ideas on other ways that we could celebrate this monumental book. Whether the stormy weekend forecast holds true or not, do yourself a favor and check out the book or movie to re-discover Harper Lee's amazing, timeless tale.

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