Books

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Over the past several days I've been reading Harper Lee's 1960 To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a coming-of-age story about the children (Jem and Scout) of an attorney (Atticus Finch) in a small Alabama town who defends a black man accused of raping a white girl. The story is narrated by Scout and is filled with all kinds of interesting adventures and misadventures in which Scout, Jem, and their friend Dill find themselves. The story is woven around the mysterious and scary old house of the Radleys, where Arthur ("Boo") Radley, a mentally handicapped man who hasn't been out of the house in many years, lives. The children's fear of Boo Radley is gradually overturned as they grow and mature.


I remember seeing the film of To Kill a Mockingbird (with Gregory Peck cast as Atticus Finch in an Oscar winning performance) when I was growing up. It made a big impression on me and has remained one of my favorites for years. I've not seen it in a decade and decided to read the book itself before watching it again.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a remarkable story about the precocious curiosity of two mother-less children, the seething hatred and racial prejudice of many whites in the mid-twentieth century south, and the couragous stance of a lonely but gentle man who is determined to give an accused man a fair hearing. Mostly it is about how the children of Atticus Finch learn to understand other people by trying to "walk around in their skin" (as Atticus teaches the children).
This is a book (or film) that will make you laugh, make you cry, and remind you of what it means to be a human being. Next time you want to curl up on the couch with a good book, give it a try.

4 comments:

Anna Elizabeth Hedges said...

That's funny...I've been wanting to read that. I saw the movie about a month or so ago with mom, and I was very impressed with it, and so that book is now on my mental list of books to read. I remember thinking that the movie did capture children/kids quite well....I was one not long ago! Still am, in ways, I reckon, but anyway...
I think I will try to get and read it soon. I'm still working on a bunch of others...
Anna

kt said...

One of my favorites too!

Emmie-Doe, Emmz, Em, Emmie, etc. said...

We had to read this in my English class at school. I think it was one of the best books I've ever read. I really enjoyed reading it. I recommend that all teenagers read this book. It is an excellent read!

Anonymous said...

I just recently finished To Kill a Mockingbird and I fell in love with the book. Harper Lee truly caught the view of a child. I read the book in no time. Everytime i had to put it down I was eager to pick it back up. When my English teacher first told us we had to read it, I wasn't too excited, but it truly is one of my favorite books and I hope high schools keep it in the curiculum.
Ashley