To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

If you haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird, which has been popular since its publication in 1960, here are some of the reasons why you should:

  1. I was reading it while waiting for a medical appointment, and twice within a few minutes, someone noticed the title and told me, “That’s the best book I ever read!”
  2. British librarians chose it as the number one book which every adult should read.
  3. American librarians called it the best novel of the 20th century.
  4. Readers of the magazine Good Housekeeping recently selected it as their favorite novel.
  5. It won the Pulitzer Prize.

This is the story of several years in the life of Scout Finch, a girl in a small Alabama town during the 1930s, beginning when she is six years old.  Her experiences with her older brother and a playmate (the author probably based this character on her childhood friend Truman Capote) are often amusing.  The children make up stories about a reclusive neighbor, Boo Radley, whom the children fear but have never seen—and, near the end of the novel, Scout finds out what Radley is really like.

Scout gradually recognizes her father, Atticus Finch, as a heroic figure.  He is the defense lawyer for a black man accused of raping a white woman–in a society where the only possible verdict in such a case, inevitably decided upon in moments, is “guilty.”  The novel’s themes include racial justice and empathy for all people.  Atticus tells Scout, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

This inspirational novel is worthy of rereading—you may even want to own and highlight a copy.  It’s that good!

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

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One Response

  1. I just bumped this one to the top of my list!! Thanks for the reminder

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