Monday, March 13, 2023

Overheard at Booth 3: "I Kill the Mockingbird" by Paul Acampora

 I enjoyed this book immensely, but in full confession, I read it just after reading Paolo Coehlo's The Pilgrimage, which was so offensive to a true Follower of Christ that anything after that would have been a relief.  This book was a perfect relief and a much-needed bright "lift" after reading something so evil.   Thus, my review should probably be taken in that context.

The story is simple enough: Jr High students start a "reverse psychology" campaign to encourage people to read "To Kill a Mockingbird" by hiding all the copies in the local bookstore.  They have given the illusion that the supply is reduced, thus increasing demand.  They also send out a multi-media effort to pretend that the book has been banned, which also increases interest in the book.

The novel is fleshed out with several subplots, such as the main character dealing with her mother's cancer as well as her burgeoning more-than-Platonic interest in her friend.  

Some harsher critics will (and have) dismissed the book's characters as reading like an adult's dream of how teens should act, and to be fair, yes, it is difficult to imagine a teenager who is a baseball star and whose favorite author is Charles Dickens; however, this is a delightful tale about bibliophiles and it obviously is designed to target the child in all of us who actually enjoy reading and enjoy reading well.  So yes, while it may have been more believable had these kids been reading "The Fault in Our Stars" more than "Fahrenheit 451," that doesn't change the fact that, however, fanciful, these characters are alive and, more importantly, fun.

It's a fun book.  Even with dealing with a cancer diagnosis.  It is about that summer between Jr High and High School, when everything is on the cusp of changing, and the last vestiges of childhood and innocence are going to be left behind.

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