To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Published by Hachette Book Group on July 11, 1960
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics
“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
This is one of the most beloved required reads ever. No one hated it when it was required in high school. I, however, was required to read another book so I never read this…until now. I think I would’ve appreciated it in high school, but I’m especially glad I read it as an adult to really understand and appreciate it.
A commentary on a mid-Depression Era deep South small town, To Kill A Mockingbird packs a punch. Honestly, almost everyone has read it and/or reviewed it so there isn’t much I can say that hasn’t already been said.
Scout Finch narrates the story guiding us through her young life. I think that’s what I love so much about this book. Scout and her brother Jem are very young when the book starts. Scout is 6 and Jem is 10. By the end of the book they are 8 and 12. They behave like children, think like children, and play like children. However, their insights and how they absorb the world around them is not typical of children. That was my favorite part about this story.
I feel like it’s easy to assume children don’t have a deeper understanding of the world around them (I know I’m at fault for thinking this at times), but this book proves children absorb the information given to them and are able to figure out right and wrong on their own. Jem cried at the outcome of the trial, Scout learned how court works and was able to think critically about the situation, and Dill also knew what was happening was a major injustice. And all of these characters were elementary school aged when the book started.
To Kill a Mockingbird is exactly the read you expect it to be. It’s chock-full of life lessons, wise words, and quotable speeches from Atticus. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been required to read it or just plain hasn’t yet. The jury is still out on if I’ll read Go Set a Watchman, but I look forward to seeing this on Broadway next month.