In eighth grade my English Teacher was a frustrated . . . well, something that wasn’t teaching related I suppose. And our big final project was a staging of monologues each person wrote as a character from To Kill a Mockingbird. During my time as Mrs. Dubose I constructed a complex history about her childhood, a marriage cut tragically short, and other insights into what made her that mean morphine addict readers met in Lee’s novel. I had a lot of fun with my character but, and maybe I only speak for myself, but it was a lot more fun to see what everyone else brought to the table. We had girls playing Atticus Finch and Boo Radley, boys waxing philosophical as Scout and Mayella Ewell. It was, in a lot of ways, magic.
So, for me, To Kill a Mockingbird has always held an interesting position in my middle school memory; part reading experience, part performance art. I don’t know if anyone who did not attend my middle school had similar experiences with the novel, but I’m sure it holds a special place for many other readers.
As some of you may already know, Harper Lee’s seminal novel To Kill a Mockingbird is turning fifty this year on July 11. I could talk now about how great a book it is or how important it is, but I’m not, because I suspect a lot of you know already from your own reading (or performances perhaps). You might notice a new badge on my blog like the one below as I do my bit to help celebrate this golden anniversary.
There are a number of anniversary events taking place in a variety of locations in July to celebrate the anniversary including discussions, screenings of the 1962 film adaptation, and if you happen to be in Rhinebeck, New York even a party with “Mock-tails” and Mockingbird-music by the “Boo Radleys”.
I happily have the opportunity to host a giveaway to award two readers (located in the US) with a copy of the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition of To Kill a Mockingbird (Amazon listing) and the companion book Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird by Mary McDonagh Murphy (Harper Collins listing)–that’s TWO books for EACH winner.
TO ENTER: Leave a post below (with a valid email address) telling me your favorite character from the book or your memory of first reading it. If you want to entertain me and other readers, be elaborate. If you don’t, a brief entry is fine too.
Two winners will be selected randomly (with the help of Maple the Palm Pre) on July 15, 2010 and notified via email.
Congratulations to the winners Emily and Amy!