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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Classics have a bad reputation partly they're so often assigned reading (not the best circumstance under which to meet a book), and stories of the small-town South have never really appealed to me. If you've been avoiding this book out of fear that it was literary without being entertaining, don't. The plot may not sound that appealing, but the characterization is exceptional and the dramatic payoff is one of the best I've read. Regardless of any deeper moral point, this is simply good storytelling and deserves to be as famous as it is.

Set in Alabama in the 1930’s, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus--three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up.

I first read this book in the fifth grade. I read it again in the eighth, and again as a freshman (this time as an assigned book in English). Each time I gained deeper understanding and fell more and more in love with this book. Mockingbird is rich and colorful in culture and themes, but never fails to keep you interested and surprise you. Filled with humor and childish antics against the rich backdrop of the rural South, Harper Lee creates a wonderful and engaging story that is only more effective fifty years later as we look back on a society based on and steeped in racism.

Compassionate, dramatic, and moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes you to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and sorrow.



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LadyRose said...
Jan. 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm
I read this book not too long ago and found though it does cover controversial topics, It was an overall great book to get your nose stuck into.
 
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