I Kill the Mockingbird
by Paul Acampora
* * * * Stars (Great!)
Lucy, Elena, and Michael are best friends who will be starting high school in the fall. They lost their 8th grade English teacher, Fat Bob, to a sudden heart attack earlier in the school year and to commemorate his memory and celebrate Lucy’s favorite book (which is also on their summer reading list) the three become literary terrorists and begin hiding all the copies of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in bookstores and libraries all over their state (they live in Connecticut). Using a website and social media, they’re able to spread the word and similar literary crimes begin taking place across the country. Soon, there’s a huge buzz about how difficult it is to find copies of the book and – as they’d intended – a renewed interest in reading it. Mission accomplished (and how)! When things start to get out of hand, however, they have to find a way to bring everything to a satisfying end.
There’s a lot going on in this slim, little book. In addition to the acts of literary terrorism, the characters must deal with their anxieties about high school, Lucy’s mother’s recent cancer remission (everyone is still scared for her and adjusting to her being alive), Lucy and Michael’s feelings for each other (very much awkward and stumbling), and insights into Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” that are so deftly woven into the plot that readers won’t even realize there’s a serious conversation taking place. Paul Acampora’s contribution will definitely inspire people to read the book it celebrates. Nicely done.