Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird
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Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  607 ratings  ·  168 reviews
To Kill a Mockingbird may well be our national novel. It is the first adult novel that many of us remember reading, one book that millions of us have in common. It sells nearly a million copies a year, more than any other twentieth-century American classic. Harper Lee's first and only novel, published in July 1960, is a beloved classic and touchstone in American literary a...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2010)
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Lisa Vegan
Jul 16, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all readers who liked the book To Kill a Mockingbird and have feelings & thoughts about it
Recommended to Lisa by: Joy
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my very favorite all time books. My copy is so tattered it’s almost unreadable (so I did buy the 50th anniversary edition for actual further readings.) My copy is a paperback copy that was originally my mother’s; its cover price was 60¢. It’s one of only 4 books I’ve read at least 100 times; I read it for the first time when I was 12. I don’t know the book verbatim, but I know many passages by heart. I feel as though I have much of the book memorized. (The movie c...more
Larry Bassett
Of the 1.4 million GR ratings of To Kill a Mockingbird, one percent didn’t like the book, gave it one star! Unbelievable, right? Don’t look for interviews in this book from any of those people. Twenty-six people plus the author tell the stories of their connections to and recollections of the author, the book and the movie. Everybody has their story about To Kill a Mockingbird. Never was heard a discouraging word, and the skies were not cloudy all day.

Although I have never read a fan magazine, t...more
Quick read that consists of a series of interviews by famous authors and personalities about To Kill a Mockingbird. (Um, the authors and personalities aren't about to kill a mockingbird, they are merely going to discuss the book of that name. This is why I am not a great writer.) There were several points that different people brought up that I hadn't considered. I loved the book, that's why I have felt compelled to read everything about this book. And maybe I'm burning out. I also got the docum...more
When I was growing up, we received a book every quarter from Reader's Digest Condensed Books. For those of you too young to remember these treasures, a Readers Digest Condensed Book contained abridged versions of 4-5 recent releases and bestsellers. When I was about 8 years old, in third grade, I picked up one of these volumes that contained To Kill a Mockingbird. That story grabbed me and taught me about race, justice, and acceptance. I saw the world completely through Scout's eyes. Being the s...more
This book was mostly a "meh" book for me. I went in to this book thinking it was a series of essays about To Kill a Mockingbird and its effects on society. In reality the book is more like a series of love letters to To Kill a Mockingbird that all say more or less the same thing. "Harper Lee was brave;" "it's obvious Truman Capote had no part in writing it;" "I wish there were more books by Harper Lee" etc

I did think the author that suggested Harper Lee wasn't brave because white writers should...more
Jun 28, 2010 Joy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Sounds like a must for Mockingbird fans! Later... and it is!

I first read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was in junior high and I still have the paperback copy I bought then which cost a whopping 95 cents! It's pages are very yellow so when I saw the 40th anniv. edition last year (in a beautiful hard-cover edition) I snapped it up.

Scout, Atticus & Boo made me want to read Mockingbird again. It's full of lovely essays from great writers and journalists including Wally Lamb, Scott Turow, James P...more
Miss Leacock
Strange organization -- first section doesn't seem to be ordered in any way, and second section seems like transcripts of interviews the author did with different people (transcripts that also don't seem to follow any method of organization -- it's difficult to read disjointed paragraphs! I'm really wondering if anyone edited this book -- I've really never seen such disconnected paragraphs!).

This book is not what I thought it would be: I thought it would be a collection of the author's thoughts...more
This book had some interesting parts, however, overall it was a disappointment. Murphy give away everything that her "interviewies" say almost quote by quote before one gets to the interviews themselves. The first portion of the book mirrors the second almost verbatim. I also did not find the people that she interviewed overall very interesting. I loved the interview with Mary Badham, and Rick Bragg, but the rest were for the most part, with some exceptions, very predictable. There is nothing ne...more
Gary Anderson
If you don't already love To Kill a Mockingbird, you probably wouldn't pick up this book anyway. But if To Kill a Mockingbird is your book, and it is mine, then this tribute is a great read.

The contributors include a mix of authors, artists, thinkers, celebrities, and residents of Monroeville, Alabama. The book is nicely edited in that it shuffles these various perspectives so that if we read it in order, we move easily among these insights and emerge with a satisfying blend of ways to consider...more
Leslie Reinhart
Let me start by saying I absoloutely loved this book. When presented with the question in a class a few years ago asking, "If the world today were like Farenheit 41 and you could opt to rebel and memorize one book to save for future societies, what would it be?" Without hesitation, or delay, my answer was obvious, To Kill a Mockingbird. Each year I read this book at least four times as I teach it to three classes and every year I love it more. In honor of the 50th anniversary this book was publi...more
Linda Lipko
Writing a negative review regarding a book about my favorite book seems blasphemous. Yet, here I go:

The author certainly has a host of credentials including the fact that she was a producer at CBS News, where she won six Emmy awards. Still, because of the poor writing and editing, while reading this book I was drawn away from the story. Just when I found an interesting tidbit, wham....I was frustrated by redundancy.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird, the author interviewed...more
I first encountered this book when I was in Monroeville, Alabama, in July 2010 for the town's celebration of TKAM's 50th anniversary. I was attending a lecture at the local community college, and this book was at my table. I flipped through it and immediately read the interviews by Anna Quindlen and Oprah Winfrey. The idea seemed interesting--lots of interesting people's responses to TKAM--plus a little history on the novel as well.

For my birthday in September 2010, I received this book. I didn'...more
I guess it’s not surprising that I was disappointed in this book. Mary McDonagh Murphy collected reflections by numerous people on what they thought of To Kill a Mockingbird to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication. She talked about show much she liked the book; she’s read it three times.

Three times!!!! I had read it that often by the time I was 12. I’ve read it hundreds of times by this point. It’s one of the two books with which I have a relationship (the other is The Chosen...more
Jul 12, 2010 Mark rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
The first third of the book is an interesting historical essay about the writing & publishing of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (which is 50 years old this year) and the filming of the movie. It quotes liberally from the rest of the book, a series of interview transcripts done for a documentary film with a wide variety of people connected to Harper Lee.

The essay is very interesting - but it harvests the best bits (for the most part) from the remaining interviews, which makes them less appealing. The...more
so this book wasn't really all that great. i didn't even finish it because it was due back at the library and i didn't think it was worth renewing. basically what it made me realize is that i don't really care why other people love "to kill mockingbird." all i really care about is why i love it . and while it was kind of interesting to hear from the people who actually knew harper lee, in the end i found the book a bit repetitive and (dare i say) slightly boring.
This is such a neat compilation of interviews and thoughts on Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird.
The only small negative quality was it was a little repetitive (obviously, the book's popularity and influence lends itself to this).

I will be re-reading and re-watching To Kill a Mockingbird in honor of the 50th anniversary.
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorite books and is the book that I re-read regularly. In this book, Mary Murphy compiles narratives from interviews of celebrities where they reflect on the impact TKAM had on them. While Part I of the book is interesting, it pulls in many key quotes from the interviews, making it redundant. Also, one sentence in Andrew Young's interview implied he never read TKAM, leaving me feeling like the interview should be omitted.

The book has many key points...more
I was intrigued by this book because I do love To Kill A Mockingbird. I was a little disappointed in the book though. I enjoyed some of the memoirs and the insights into the life of Nelle Harper Lee that were shared by those who contributed to the book.

The writing style, though, was kind of rough. I know the people were all interviewed in person, but I think I was still kind of expecting the chapters to be more essay-like. Not so. The chapters were written in prose, and since the text did not i...more
Although I came away with few new and enticing witticisms on the writing of the book or the making of the movie, I still found Mary McDonagh Murphy's novel engaging. It strikes me odd how so many of us continue to beg for a sequel of Mockingbird, even with the knowledge and respect that Harper Lee wishes for privacy and seclusion.

Mary Badham, the person who played Scout in the movie, gave one of many wonderful interviews. Hopefully without ruining her words, I very much enjoyed finding out what...more
To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book and it celebrated its 50th anniversary this July. This book is a collection of interviews from various celebrities and authors about TKAM's influence on American culture, and also some background on author Harper Lee/how the book was written.

I read a biography of Harper Lee a few years ago which was very through and detailed so there wasn't much in the beginning section of this book that I didn't already know. But it was still fun to read about how much...more
Eileen Granfors
When I was choosing categories here on, I thought to myself, "How often does one read a memoir of a book, not a person?" Mary McDonagh Murphy reflects on "To Kill a Mockingbird" in her non-fiction work, "Scout, Atticus, and Boo," and the book is very much a memoir of TKAM.

The chapters, some from Nelle Harper Lee's family (Alice Finch Lee); many from other authors (Wally Lamb, Anna Quindlen); some from those associated with the film (Mary Badham, who played Scout); and some from a v...more
Is essays and interviews based on a PBS documentary of the same name by the same author. Wally Lamb writes: “For a lot of kids, it’s the voice of Scout. It’s certainly not the adult voice of Jean Louise Finch. It’s Scout’s voice.” James McBride writes: “Honesty and truth last. My initial response was more or less the same as how I read it now professionally. The writer was very forthright and spoke with great clarity about issues that I think we have a hard time discussing even today. Later, whe...more
I enjoyed most the thinking about Mockingbird while I read what other people thought of it. I guess I was not a Scout person - I mean, I liked Scout, but never thought of her as the focus of the book, the main character...but did like thinking of which was my favorite character. I find I don't have a favorite of all times - usually its who I connect with whenever I read the book. Sometimes I need Calpurnia or Atticus most. Other times, I need Jem, or Miss Maudie or even Uncle Jack. If required t...more
I picked this book up at the library because I'd seen it at book stores several times. I knew it was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of "To Kill a Mockingbird", but I wasn't sure what it was all about. I have said many times that Harper Lee's first and only published work is my favorite. I know I saw the movie first as a child of the 60's but I read the book first when I was in Jr. High, not because it was assigned but because I wanted to read it. I believe I read it in high school, and ha...more
Ava Dresen
Scout, Atticus, and Boo by Mary McDonaugh Murphy is a book that analyzes the effects that the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird had on the people who read it, and the reactions some had the first time they read it. Many famous people made comments in this book, but only a few had truly unique analyses about To Kill a Mockingbird. The rest of the book had redundant responses, like the people the characters embodied in Harper lee's life, Truman Capote's role in the apparent writing of the book,...more
I really enjoyed this book, at least at first.

It was interesting to read the different interviews and see how many people were so profoundly affected by To Kill a Mockingbird and in such positive ways. After reading all the interviews, I'm just itching to go back and read Harper Lee's masterpiece again and again and again. It was also fascinating to read all the theories people have about why Ms. Lee doesn't grant interviews and never wrote another book; everyone is pretty convinced that they ha...more
Jun 30, 2011 Graceann rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To Kill a Mockingbird fans
Shelves: essays
This book of essays from noted figures in media, including Rick Bragg, Oprah Winfrey, Scott Turow and many, many others, tells us of the impact of Harper Lee's 1960 classic in the era in which it was released and its continuing relevance today.

What is interesting is that there are so many people interviewed for this book, but they all have their very different reasons for admiring To Kill a Mockingbird, and it means different things to each of them. To Anna Quindlen and Oprah Winfrey, it's all...more
Kelli Robinson
This is a companion book to a documentary of the same name which is now in my Netflix queue. I bought this book on an impulse during 2010 when To Kill a Mockingbird was celebrating its 50th anniversary and, as a resident of Alabama, it was difficult to escape that celebration. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the movie so I found it only fitting that I remove this book from my shelf and actually read it. I suspect when I watch the documentary that what I read in this book will turn out to just...more
Irene McHugh
I saw the documentary Hey, Boo at the Tucson art house theater. The programming director frequently introduces the films and during his intro for this one, he mentioned this book, which was published during To Kill a Mockingbird's 50th anniversary year. This book consists of an introduction on Harper Lee and the impact of her novel with 26 interviews of people giving their perspective on her novel and the impact it had on their lives. The documentary takes pieces of this book and weaves them int...more
The author created both a documentary and a book compiling the thoughts of authors, teachers and celebrities about the wonderful classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. She included everyone from Oprah to Harper Lee’s own sister to the actress who played Scout in the movie. The book chronicles people’s favorite scenes, their questions, their first experience reading it and the reasons why they love it.

People all over the world have been touched by the book because of the issues it addresses and t...more
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Mary McDonagh Murphy is an independent film and television writer/producer whose current projects include a documentary about the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Her most recent book is Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird. She has also recently produced Cry for Help, a PBS program."
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