Welcome to my latest Saturday Book List where I share some recommendations based on some of my favorite books.
Today I’m thrilled to share 7 books to read if you love To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I reviewed this novel just after I started my blog. I think it’s time for a reread 🙂
To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic for so many reasons. It’s a beautiful depiction of childhood through the eyes of Scout Finch but also delves into complex issues like racism and discrimination. Every time I read this novel, I am blown away. It’s truly a masterpiece.
First, I recommend watching the 1962 movie adaptation starring Gregory Peck as Atticus. It really is fantastic and is such a well done portrayal of the events in the classic novel.
I had a lot of fun compiling this list. I hope you enjoy it!
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee // The obvious place to start for Mockingbird fans is this first draft or some say “sequel” that was published over 50 years later. I think you have to go into this one with the right mindset to appreciate it as a literary artifact. This is not an official sequel to TKAM. It’s a first draft of what would become TKAM. I find the changes Lee made between these two drafts fascinating. It’s worth seeing the journeys the characters made between Watchman and Mockingbird. There’s many reasons that her publishers asked her to go back and focus on Scout as a child. The story is so much more gripping and intriguing at that time–even in the small moments in Watchman!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett // This is one of my favorite books period. It belongs on this list because its another unique perspective of life in the South. It focuses on relationships between black women and the families they work for. The three part point of view are flawlessly distinct. And this novel tackles difficult questions of race, humanity, and kindness in beautiful ways. Everyone should read this book. And the movie adaptation is very well done as well.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd // I haven’t read this book since high school and I think it’s time for a reread! This novel is another child’s view of life in the deep South. Lily and her friend/caregiver Rosaleen run away to the Southern town where Lily’s mother was from. They are taken in by the Boatwright sisters who teach Lily about bees and help her uncover the mystery of her mother’s past. It’s a beautiful novel I really need to reread.
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool // This novel’s protagonist, Abilene, reminds me a lot of Scout Finch. She is shipped off to the small, southern town of Manifest where she learns about her father’s past and befriends some delightfully unique small town characters. The cover even looks like it has Scout on it!
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain // If one classic older than TKAM belongs on this list, it’s Huck Finn. I read this classic last year for the first time and was surprised by how many tough issues like racism, abuse and slavery it tackles. Like TKAM, it maintains a child’s perspective of these intense issues. That gives it a unique and important perspective on these issues that define the American past.
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley // I include this novel because it reminds of me of the way childhood is described in TKAM. We have a brother and sister (Ada and Jamie) who are living in the English countryside to avoid the London bombings in WWII. They have many adventures together and learn a lot about life and happiness. If you love the anecdotes of Scout, Jem, and Dill, I think you’ll enjoy this novel.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry // Another WWII novel that deserves a place on this list because it shows the importance of doing what’s right in the face of impossible odds. Annemarie is a young girl living in Copenhagen when the Nazis invade Denmark. She helps her family save the lives of her best friend Ellen who is a Jew. It reminds me of Atticus’ fight for what’s right in the face of insurmountable odds. And gives us a child’s account of WWII much like TKAM focuses on Scout.
Bonuses on my TBR:
- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
- The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
- The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
What books would you recommend to TKAM lovers?