To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a MockingbirdHarper LeeYoung AdultHachette Book Group Grand Central Publishing May 11, 2010Paperback376

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into ten languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

Published in 1960, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has become a perennial classic about childhood innocence and a coming of age story. A harrowing tale of racial inequality and its effect on Maycomb, Alabama, especially Scout and Jem Finch, the children of Atticus Finch, the man who is assigned to represent Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping a white woman. Jem and Scout are ostracized and teased by their peers because their father is defending a black man, forcing both of them, especially Scout to learn about what really defines bravery.

Scout Finch is Atticus Finch’s curious daughter. She’s a tom boy, doesn’t like being told what to do, is a little naughty, and always asking “why?”Jem Finch is Scout’s older brother by four years. He thinks he knows everything and tries to educate Scout as much as he can, but he and Scout have a lot to learn when it comes social and racial injustice– and the best man to teach them is their father, Atticus Finch.

Atticus Finch is the protagonist of this story and arguably one of the most empathetic and honorable men in history–even though he’s a literary character.

Written from a much older Scout, who is looking back at this eventful episode in her life, the reader is given the perfect 20/20 hindsight into Scout’s childhood experiences. While a little slow in the beginning, Harper Lee tastefully illustrates a discriminating and racist town and the few people who know what “real courage” is.

Read To Kill a Mockingbird now!

Directed by Robert Mulligan, the 1962 movie adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel starred Mary Badham as Scout Finch and Gregory Peck as the ultimate american hero, standing up for racial and social equality. A very faithful and beautiful counterpart to To Kill a Mockingbird’s lasting impression on American literature.

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