To kill a Mockingbird PDF, Summary Characters, Reviews | Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a novel by the American author Harper Lee. It was published in 1960 and was instantly successful. In the United States, it is widely read in high schools and middle schools. To Kill a Mockingbird has become a classic of modern American literature, winning the Pulitzer Prize. The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee’s observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was ten.

Despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality, the novel is renowned for its warmth and humor. Atticus Finch, the narrator’s father, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. The historian Joseph Crespino explains, “In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America.

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To kill a mockingbird Summary (Book by Harper Lee)

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

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To kill a Mockingbird Author – Harper Lee

harper-lee-To kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee harper-lee-To kill a Mockingbird pdf author

“Nelle” Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, the youngest of four children of Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee. She grew up in Monroeville, a small town in southwest Alabama. Her father was a lawyer who also served in the state legislature from 1926–1938. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and a precocious reader. After she attended public school in Monroeville she attended Huntingdon College, a private school for women in Montgomery for a year and then transferred to the University of Alabama. After graduation, Lee studied at Oxford University. She returned to the University of Alabama to study law but withdrew six months before graduation.

She moved to New York in 1949 and worked as a reservations clerk for Eastern Air Lines and British Overseas Airways. While in New York, she wrote several essays and short stories, but none were published. Her agent encouraged her to develop one short story into a novel. In order to complete it, Lee quit working and was supported by friends who believed in her work. In 1957, she submitted the manuscript to J. B. Lippincott Company. Although editors found the work too episodic, they saw promise in the book and encouraged Lee to rewrite it. In 1960, with the help of Lippincott editor Tay Hohoff, To Kill a Mockingbird was published.  She is the author of the acclaimed To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, which became a phenomenal #1 New York Times bestseller when it was published in July 2015. Ms. Lee received the Pulitzer Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and numerous other literary awards and honors. She died on February 19, 2016.

To kill a Mockingbird pdf Book Information (Amazon)

To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee
To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee

To kill a mockingbird Characters

Atticus Finch

Atticus Finch is the father of Jem and Scout Finch. He is a lawyer who appears to support racial equality and is appointed to represent Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a young white woman, Mayella Ewell. The town disapproves of his defending Tom especially when he makes clear his intent to defend Tom Robinson to the best of his abilities. He is an honest person who tries to help everyone he could. Once known as “One-shot Finch” and “the deadest shot in Maycomb County”, he is the moral center of the story.

Scout Finch

Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, as an adult, is the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman. She comments on how she could not understand something at the time but now can appreciate it. She gets into trouble with Miss Caroline, her teacher because she is expected to learn reading and writing her way. She is a tomboy and spends most of her time with her brother Jem and best friend Dill. To Jem’s advice to pretend to be a lady and start sewing or something, she answers, “Hell, no”. The hints the narrator gives us about her grown-up life reveal that she has not attempted to change herself to please others.[2]

She matures from age 6 to age 9 as the novel progresses but remains naive and idealistic, despite an increased understanding of human nature and racism in her town. At the beginning of the book, Scout is confused by some of the words and names she hears people directing towards her father, such as “nigger-lover”. Being only six, Scout does not know how to handle such situations, so she tries to resolve her problems by fighting, or by talking to Atticus about what she has heard. By the end of the book, Scout realizes that racism does exist and comes to terms with its presence in her town. Scout also learns how to deal with others, including the Finch family housekeeper, Calpurnia, and her aunt, Alexandra. Scout is the only one of the novel’s primary three children (Dill, Jem, and herself) to see and speak to Boo Radley during the course of the novel and realize that he is harmless, despite her initial fear of him. She stops a mob about to lynch Tom Robinson by talking to the mob leader, Mr. Cunningham.

Notable quote: “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

Jem Finch

Jeremy Atticus Finch “Jem” Finch is Atticus’ son and Scout’s older brother by four years. Jem’s progression into adult maturity is apparent throughout the course of the novel. He is seen to have a greater understanding of the obstacles thrown their way. Jem explains many things to Scout throughout the novel. Bob Ewell breaks Jem’s arm during his assault on the Finch children, subsequently resulting in it being shorter than it had been. He is portrayed by Phillip Alford in the film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. At the beginning of Go Set a Watchman, an earlier draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem has already died of the heart condition which killed their mother.

Dill Harris

Charles Baker “Dill” Harris is a short, smart boy who visits Maycomb every summer from Meridian, Mississippi and stays with his Aunt Rachel (Aunt Stephanie in the film). Dill is the best friend of both Jem and Scout, and his goal throughout the novel is to get Boo Radley to come out of his house. The children concoct many plans to lure Boo Radley out of his house for a few summers until Atticus tells them to stop. In chapter 5 of the novel, Dill promises to marry Scout and they become “engaged.” One night Dill runs away from his home, arriving in Maycomb County where he hides under Scout’s bed. When she finds Dill, he tells both Scout and Atticus that he was chained to a wall in his father’s basement; later, he confesses he actually ran away because he felt he was being replaced by his stepfather.

Unlike Scout and Jem, Dill lacks the security of family support. He is unwanted and unloved by his mother and stepfather. He hasn’t got a home, he just gets passed around from one relative to another. Dill maintains he has no father but does not know whether his father is alive or not; or if he will ever see him again.Dill Harris is believed to be based on a childhood friend of Harper Lee, the author Truman Capote.


Calpurnia, nicknamed Cal, is the Finch family’s African-American housekeeper, whom the children love and Atticus deeply respects (he remarks in her defense that she “never indulged [the children] like most colored nurses”). She is an important figure in Scout’s life, providing discipline, instruction, and love. She also fills the maternal role for the children after their mother’s death. Calpurnia is a mother herself and raised her son, Zeebo, to adulthood. Calpurnia is one of the few black characters in the novel who is able to read and write, and it is she who taught Scout to write. She learned how to read from Miss Maudie’s aunt, Miss Buford, who taught her how to read out of Blackstone’s Commentaries, a book given to her. Aunt Alexandra despised Calpurnia because Alexandra believed that Calpurnia was not a “maternal figure” for Jem and Scout, especially for Scout.

Calpurnia is a member of the First Purchase M.E. African Church in Maycomb. While Scout always hears her speak “proper” English, she is surprised to learn that Calpurnia does not do so at church, especially with the uneducated members of the congregation.

While everyone in the novel is filtered through Scout’s perception, Calpurnia appears for a long time more as Scout’s idea of her than as a real person. At the beginning of the novel, Scout appears to think of Calpurnia as the wicked stepmother to Scout’s own Cinderella. However, towards the end of the book, Scout views Calpurnia as someone she can look up to, and realizes Calpurnia has only protected her over the years.

Aunt Alexandra

Alexandra Hancock (née Finch) is Atticus’ and Jack’s sister, married to James “Uncle Jimmy” Hancock. Her son, Henry, is married and has a spoiled child named Francis, who lives with her every Christmas. Aunt Alexandra decides to leave her husband at the Finch family homestead, Finch’s Landing to come to stay with the Atticus. Aunt Alexandra doesn’t consider the black Calpurnia to be a good motherly figure for Jem and Scout; she disapproves of Scout being a tomboy. She encourages Scout to act more ladylike; wanting to make Scout into a southern belle. This is the cause of many conflicts between Scout and her aunt. However, Scout later sees how much her aunt cares for her father and what a strong woman she is. This is especially evidenced by a tea party when Scout is horrified by the racism displayed, and her aunt and Miss Maudie help her deal with her feelings. By the end of the book, it’s clear that Alexandra cares very much for her niece and nephew, though she and Scout will probably never really get along.

John Finch

John Hale “Jack” Finch is the younger brother of Atticus and Alexandra. He is about 40. Jack smells like alcohol and something sweet and it is said that he and Alexandra have similar features. Jack is a childless doctor who can always make Scout and Jem laugh, and they adore him. He and Miss Maudie are close to the same age; he frequently teases her with marriage proposals, which she always declines.

Arthur (Boo) Radley

The Maycomb children believe that “Boo” Radley, a recluse, is a nice person. “Boo” Radley is a lonely man who attempts to reach out to Jem and Scout for love and friendship, such as leaving them small gifts and figures in a tree knothole. Jem starts to have a different understanding of Radley. Scout finally meets him at the very end of the book, when he saves the children’s lives from Bob Ewell. When Boo whispers to Scout to walk him back to the Radley house, at first, Scout does not recognize him. She describes him as being sickly white, with a thin mouth, thin and feathery hair and grey eyes almost as if he were blind. Scout pictures what it would be like to be Radley. While standing on his porch, she realizes that he is not that lonely. When Bob Ewell tries to murder the Finch children, no one sees what happens in the scuffle but Ewell is dead and it is Radley who carries an unconscious Jem into the Finch’s house.

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To kill a mockingbird book Reviews by Harper

Editorial reviews and praise for the book

“When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow…. When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out.”

Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus–three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up.

Like the slow-moving occupants of her fictional town, Lee takes her time getting to the heart of her tale; we first meet the Finches the summer before Scout’s first year at school. She, her brother, and Dill Harris, a boy who spends the summers with his aunt in Maycomb, while away the hours reenacting scenes from Dracula and plotting ways to get a peek at the town bogeyman, Boo Radley. At first the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape of Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a drunk and violent white farmer, barely penetrate the children’s consciousness. Then Atticus is called on to defend the accused, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout and Jem find themselves caught up in events beyond their understanding. During the trial, the town exhibits its ugly side, but Lee offers plenty of counterbalance as well–in the struggle of an elderly woman to overcome her morphine habit before she dies; in the heroism of Atticus Finch, standing up for what he knows is right; and finally in Scout’s hard-won understanding that most people are essentially kind “when you really see them.” By turns funny, wise, and heartbreaking, To Kill a Mockingbird is one classic that continues to speak to new generations, and deserves to be reread often. –Alix Wilber

“Marvelous . . . Miss Lee’s original characters are people to cherish in this winning first novel.”―The New York Times

“A novel of great sweetness, humor, compassion, and of mystery carefully sustained.”―Harper’s Magazine

“Skilled, unpretentious and tototally ingenuous . . . tough, melodramatic, acute, funny.”―The New Yorker

“Miss Lee wonderfully builds the tranquil atmosphere of her Southern town, and as adroitly causes it to erupt a shocking lava of emotions.”―San Francisco Examiner

“Remarkable triumph . . . Miss Lee writes with a wry compassion that makes her novel soar.”―Life magazine

Customers reviews on barnesandnoble for to kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee

Scotland5 out of 5 stars.2 months ago  

Everything I Expected!

One of those books I always planned to read – and so very much worth the wait!

Atticus Finch is a small town lawyer in the deep south of America, raising his children on his own with the help of a daily woman. Then he has a case of defending a black man against charges of raping a white girl and attitudes towards the family are noticeably altering by the day. This is that story, as seen through the eyes of two children living and thriving under the care of their father in the 1930’s.

Having always heard generally about this book, but knowing no specifics I was really looking forward to finally having the time to read it. It is an enthralling tale of two happy, well adjusted children whose father encourages their education and with whom they have a very close relationship. I’m always fascinated with attitudes about race, religion and gender wondering why we can’t just treat everyone as human but then, of course, we would have missed out on some of the most fabulous fiction of our time. This novel is everything I thought it would be and so much more. I have always struggled when asked the question ‘What is your favourite novel of all time?’ but somehow I think the answer will come easily from here on in. A terrific read which easily deserves all five glowing stars and my highest recommendation.

5 out of 5 stars.a year ago  

Classic And A MUST Read For All

Almost everyone in the United States has heard of this book. But only half of the citizens who heard of TKAM have read it. The setting of this book is in Alabama, mid 1930s during the Great Depression. The narrator is a young girl named Scout, her brother Jem is in the book a lot too. And of course Atticus, who reminds me a lot of my father in this book. Calm, reasonable man who has lots of integrity. Atticus who is a local lawyer, defends a black man (Tom Robinson) who was accused of raping a white women (Maya Ewell). Back then, there were very few trials in which blacks were treated fairly. Along the way you have a trial and a bunch of life lessons Scout learns and the personality of the characters are very interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone in the 6th grade or higher.


5 out of 5 stars.

a year ago  

A Case Study In Stoicism

Illustrates the life of an outsider with an element of stoicism that similar stories lack. There’s no whining over a difficult situation, not just to survive, but a proactive approach to make things work. I read this because it was assigned, but was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. (Not always the case.) Highly recommended!

Reviews from customers on Amazon about the book

Rachel McElhany

5.0 out of 5 stars To Kill a Mockingbird

Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2019

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My son recently read To Kill a Mockingbird for school so I decided to reread it. This time around, I listened to the audiobook, which is read by Sissy Spacek. The book is narrated in first person from Scout’s point of view and Spacek’s soft, natural Southern voice is perfect for it.

I always struggle writing an actual review for a classic novel because it’s usually been reviewed and analyzed to death. I’m going to tell you my thoughts anyway! Like I said, To Kill a Mockingbird is written from the first person point of view of Scout Finch, who is around six years old when the story begins. She lives in Maycomb, Alabama with her father Atticus and her brother Jem. Atticus is a lawyer and is the most respected man in town. When Tom Robinson, a black man, is falsely accused of raping a white woman, the town’s judge appoints Atticus to defend him. The chances that Tom will be acquitted are slimmer than slim but as Atticus says, real courage is, “when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” That’s why the judge appointed him. He knew that Atticus was the only lawyer who would give his all to defending Tom even though it was a lost cause. Meanwhile, Scout, Jem and their friend Dill are obsessed with the Finch’s mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley. They delight in daring each other to get close to the Radley house.

To Kill a Mockingbird is full of life lessons. Atticus is pretty much the perfect human and the wisdom he imparts to Scout and Jem is profound. I liked how Harper Lee took her time building up to the actual trial. She shows us years of life in Maycomb so that the reader can truly understand the South in the 1930s. There is a rich cast of supporting characters, all vividly drawn. It’s tragic to realize that not all that much has changed in how our country treats black people since the time of this book. Black people are still treated unfairly by the criminal justice system quite often, resulting in America’s huge mass incarceration problem. I’m so glad I reread To Kill a Mockingbird. I had forgotten just how much I loved it. There is so much about it that is timeless and Atticus’s lessons still resonate today. If by chance you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend that you do.

Teddie S.

5.0 out of 5 stars This story makes us want to be an Atticus Finch
Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2017
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The setting for this book is the fictional town of Macomb, Alabama in the mid 1930s. The narrator of the story is Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, a 10 year old tomboy. Her father, Atticus Finch, is a lawyer who is defending a black man accused of raping a white woman. The likelihood of a black man getting a fair trial in the south in the 1930s is about 1 in a million…optimistically speaking.

Scout gets some valuable life lessons from her father. She sees that doing the moral thing, is not always an easy, or popular, or safe thing to do. But it’s the <i>right</i> thing to do. She also learns that everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and to receive justice, no matter what their skin color. I first read TKAM in high school 50 years ago. I re-read it, as I’m sure many others have, in preparation for reading the recently published “To Set a Watchman”. I was touched deeply by this story in 1967. And I’m touched just as deeply in 2017. Harper Lee made us stare prejudice and injustice in the face, and made us want to aspire to be an Atticus Finch. A flag-waving 5 stars!

Winola Dsouza

5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read!

Reviewed in India on October 19, 2018

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For all those booklovers who haven’t read this amazing book by #harperlee you have to read it asap!
It’s written from a little girl’s point of view but has amazing thoughts for everyone. Even after being written so many years ago, it still has some very relevant lessons for everyone, there is something for everyone in it! Definitely one of the #mustread books.
Here are some of my favourite #quotes from the book:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
“There are just some kind of men who-who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”

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