To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
281 pages
First sentence:

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the

Somehow I missed having to read this book in high school. It has been reviewed to death lately with the Southern Reading Challenge this summer. And with so many glowing reviews I didn't think I could pass up reading it for myself any longer. I chose it for the Book Awards Reading Challenge. When Robin recommended listening to Sissy Spacek read it on CD I took her up on it.

As pretty much everybody now knows, this is the enlightening story of "Scout" Finch, growing up in Maycomb, Alabama. It starts out at a leisurely pace, describing the summer antics of Scout, her older brother Jem, and a neighbor boy Dill, as they imagine the mysterious Boo Radley in the creepy, rundown Radley Place down the street. We become familiar with Scout's precocious ways and her propensity to find trouble. As the intrigue of Boo wears off, a new interest takes it's place: the trial of Tom Robinson. Scout, and the reader, learn a lot about the mindset of Maycomb County in general, and Atticus Finch specifically, in regards to humanity, honor, and right and wrong.

I can see why everyone lauds Atticus Finch so greatly. He is a man of integrity and compassion. Scout is easy to sympathise with. Jem's character is being influenced strongly by his experiences and his growing respect for his father. It is truly a beautifully written story. I love how a vast and rich vocabulary is combined with the local undeveloped dialect of the south. And I especially love the ending.

I am disappointed that there are no other books written by this Pulitzer Prize winner. And I'm curious as to what prompted her to write this book in the first place. I would highly recommend this title to anyone. It will be a candidate for a future summer reread.


    i did read this one in high school (and loved it) - but i really ought to re-read it one of these years as high school was a very long time ago! :o)

    I didnt have to read this book in high school, but on the recommendation of my friend who did, I read it and loved it. I reread it last year and rented the DVD (not as good as the book, but still very good). They had a special features where the author was interviewed and it is based on part of her life, her town and her father.

    I enjoyed the movie but I didn't have time to watch the extras before I had to return it to the library. But I do plan to watch it soon.

    One of my absolute favorites! It is on my Top 10!