Tuesday, October 25, 2011

To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Title:  To Kill A Mockingbird
Author:  Harper Lee
Pages:  323
Genre:  Fiction, Classic
Source:  My bookshelf
What you'll love:  Everything... why am I in my 30's and just reading this now??
What will bug you: All the injustice.

Hello.  My name is Kate.  I'm 31 years old, and I've just read To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time.  Hi, Kate.

Seriously, why did it take me this long to dip into this?  I have a list of these classics I somehow didn't have to read in school, and every time I read one I think two things.  First, I read so many classic stories as a high school student, how was this not one of them?  Second, I'd love to be a fly on the wall during a discussion of this book in the classroom of a fantastic teacher (um... Mr. C perhaps?).

A word of warning - I'm not so concerned with spoilers in this post.  So if you haven't read this yet, just turn off the computer right now and head to the library.  Or the bookstore.  Or your favorite online place for books.  Go on... Don't be like me.

So much of this book was fantastic, but I'd like to touch upon some of my favorite parts.  

First off, I love Scout.  What a rough-and-tumble girl.  She's a straight shooter who isn't afraid to kick a little ass.  As long as she steers clear of her aunt she has a promising future as a successful woman.  She's very ahead of her time.  

Jem.  If I had an older brother I'd like him to be like Jem.  He's a sensitive soul.  He does a lot of growing up over the course of this book.  Scout does too, but Jem seems to relate to things on a much deeper level.

Atticus is raising intelligent children who think for themselves.  He's respectable in every way.  He, like Scout was also also ahead of his time.  When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was only a toddler, Atticus was working toward equality.  

Harper Lee develops her characters beautifully.  Wonderful writing.

Of course Boo Radley turns out to be a good man.  It goes to show you that we often don't really know the true nature of a person.  

This story tackles so many issues - racism, class, gender, courage - through the eyes of a child.  I was surprised that the story was less about the actual events leading up to the trial, but rather about the journey Scout and Jem take as they progress from children to young adults.  

Wonderful.  I'm so happy to have finally read this!


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