Finished To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
I feel like everyone’s already read this book and done a much better job of reviewing it than I ever could, so I think I’m just going to babble a bit about how awesome it is. And if you haven’t read it, please fix that. This book is amazing and deserves all its accolades.
For whatever reason, I didn’t have to read it in school so I read it for the first time probably about 10 years ago (followed immediately by A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which I think may be the best literary double feature ever). When we learned that our friend/fellow book club member Philip hadn’t read it at all (so I guess everyone but Philip has read it, but hopefully he’s read it now, too), Julia and I decided that it was going to be our next book club pick.
Re-reading it now, in my thirties, was just as great as reading it for the first time. I think this is one of those books where you get different things out of it, depending on where you are in life when you read it. So while I think I would’ve loved it as a kid (and would’ve spared me the incredulous looks of “You’ve NEVER READ To Kill a Mockingbird?!” I got for my first twenty-some years of life), I’m also kind of glad I waited because I don’t know if I would’ve really gotten it the way I did reading it as an adult.
I honestly don’t get why this book is challenged as often as it is. Yes, there’s violence and swearing, yes the n-word is thrown around from time to time. But it’s about racism (both overt and insidious) and doing the right thing and if there’s a better role model anywhere than Atticus Finch, I don’t know that I’ll ever meet him/her. And I would rather my hypothetical kids learn about doing the right thing, even when it’s futile, then never have their delicate sensibilities challenged. (Because honestly? Kids aren’t anywhere near as delicate as their parents think.)
Such a great book and one of my top five favorites.