Harper Lee- To Kill a Mockingbird (Grand Central Publishing 1982) 4.75 Stars
Scout and Jem Finch live in Maycomb, a small town along the Alabama River where nothing much happens. That is until a black man is accused of a crime he did not commit and their father, Atticus, must defend him. Now they must learn what being a family is all about and the fact that the world is not as black and white as children think it is. People do not always act nobly and Atticus expects his children to treat everyone with respect no matter what happens. Not an easy task for a young girl who would rather solve her problems with her fist. This is a classic coming of age tale, set in the historic southern U.S.
I loved To Kill a Mockingbird when I was in school, one of the few school books I actually enjoyed reading. I also loved the movie as it was very well done. You can’t help but love Scout and her sense of how the world should be. She is filled with a child’s innocence and she must come to understand that the world is not always fair; in fact it can be so very cruel at times. Not wishing to become a lady, she will do anything possible to be seen as a hard-knuckled boy. She must also face the fact that her brother is growing up and wants more of his own independence. I loved the whole Boo Radley thing, it added some fun into the book and helped them realize that things are not always as they seem, and never to judge someone by what other people say. This book is a great learning experience for children and I can see why it was read in schools. At times I was frustrated with how cruel and stupid people were, but this was the just a matter of the way people thought at the time, a perfect recreation by the author. I always find that when I read this I wish Harper Lee had written more.
I recommend To Kill a Mockingbird for parents to read to their children, and to teens/adults.
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