It's quite a famous book, and I recall that my fifth grade teacher recommended it to me. But at the time I wasn't particularly interested in it, so I figured I might read it when I was older, if I ever ran out of books to read (in other words, there was almost no chance that I would read TKAM of my own accord).
I think I'd actually made the right choice by not reading the book then because I ended up reading it this year as part of the 9th grade literature curriculum. I really don't like to read books twice (there are so many good books out there, I'd much rather be reading those than reading something that I already know the ending to), and besides, if I'd read it back then, I probably wouldn't have been able to understand as much of it. (Not that TKAM is a difficult book to comprehend or anything. At least the author doesn't write with thy's and thou's and other such old language.) I really don't remember much of the books that I read when I was younger, though...I guess my brain thought other things were more important.
I actually thought the book was quite interesting, and enjoyed reading about a trial, as well as seeing a mysterious character make an appearance at last (can't reveal more than that if you haven't read the book). The movie was a disappointment in comparison. It seemed too rushed since it left out a lot of content and changed what it did put in, though I suppose moviegoers don't have as much patience, and it would be a pain to make a really long movie anyways. Well, of course, there is a general rule that books are better than their movie counterparts (which makes me fearful about the Twilight movies; I've heard some say it was good and others say it was "meh", so I don't know who to believe. But I don't really want to watch them anyways because the books were rather bland). I ought to read the Howl's Moving Castle book, but of course I keep putting it off. In fact, I really haven't been doing all that much reading these days. I really have to get back to the books.
In the case of TKAM, the mockingbird represents someone who was punished even when he/she hadn't done anything wrong. But after hearing a friend's description of a mockingbird that lived in her neighborhood (an actual bird, mind you, not a person), I'm not sure if a mockingbird is the best symbol of innocence. Although TKAM says that mockingbirds must not be shot because they sing beautiful songs, my friend (I shall refer to her as SNK) says that the mockingbird near her house is very annoying. It imitates the sounds it hears and makes a racket at nighttime, which disturbs her sleep. Eventually it either went away or got shot by a neighbor (I hope not, that's a pretty gruesome end to a bird, even if it was disturbing the peace). Another friend of mine says she'd like to have a mockingbird as a pet, though, since it is able to imitate sounds it hears (apparently it could even imitate the tunes from songs for the piano and violin. Not bad!). Wonder if they can be raised as pets. I used to want a squirrel as a pet, because I like their fluffy tails, but I suppose it would probably have rabies.