To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a story of hypocrisy, cruelty, irony, and human nature following the maturation of a young girl during the Great Depression. Lee introduces a wide array of well-developed and unique characters ranging from the mysterious neighborhood recluse to the highly opinionated town gossip, all told through the perspective of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch.

As the reader gets to know tomboy Scout, her brother Jem, and the siblings’ childhood friend Dill through their mischievous endeavors, Scout’s virtuous lawyer father does the unthinkable in their small southern town and decides to defend Tom Robinson – African American man. His choice angers the townspeople and thrusts his family into a whirlwind of danger. Although it seems clear from the start that Tom is doomed to receive the death sentence, Scout’s father still tries to use this as an opportunity to deliver a moving, compassionate message to the townspeople and attack racism at its core. 

Unlike the other young children in her southern town, Scout’s eyes are unencumbered by prejudice under the guidance of her father Atticus, a wise and respected lawyer. As innocent Scout’s ideals and views evolve, she starts to see her town for what it truly is. The reader stays right by Scout’s side as her experiences and lessons learned along the way shape her morality and ethics.

I’ll admit that the story might not have a gripping beginning. However, it soon picks up with the children’s adventures and the Robinson trial. Every time I come back to this story, I appreciate the writing more and more. Although it may take more than one read to fully grasp and understand the underlying concepts expressed throughout the novel, I can guarantee that if you stick with this book, you will not be disappointed. The vocabulary may be a little challenging, but that pales in comparison to the many lessons that I feel could be learned. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a piece of well-studied literature, and after reading it I can confidently say for good reason. In my opinion, To Kill a Mockingbird truly is a fulfilling, enlightening must-read!