To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
|To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee|
|Category: Literary Fiction|
|Reviewer: Ceri Padley|
|Summary: As Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird celebrates its 50th birthday, readers can now get a chance to enjoy this special edition copy of the story about two children and their father living in the Deep South during the depression. Faced with issues involving racism, prejudice, class and gender on a daily basis, Scout and her brother, Jem, struggle to find their identity while their father, Atticus, fights for justice in an adult world of hypocrisy.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: June 2010|
A Times Educational Supplement Teachers' Top 100 Book
Fifty years after its first release, readers are once again getting the chance to acquaint themselves with Harper Lee's classic tale of growing up in the Deep South during the depression. After five decades, To Kill a Mockingbird still hasn't lost its charm. Even new readers can expect a classic tale full of elements still relevant to this day.
Told through the eyes of an inquisitive young girl, Scout, To Kill a Mockingbird touches on every aspect of growing up, including starting school, learning about class and race differences, and keeping childhood secrets that'll last a lifetime.
One of the most well-known elements of the story, of course, is the legend of Boo Radley. No childhood is complete without a phantom living at the bottom of the street, and for Scout and her brother, Jem, their summers are filled with tormenting their neighbour with youthful curiosity and seizing that golden opportunity to get just one glimpse of the man from their stories. While Scout is clearly bright for her age, it is still fun to catch those childhood moments between herself, Jem, and their neighbourhood friends, as their imaginations grow wild with excitement and intrigue as their piece together scattered tales accumulated from their neighbourhood gossipmongers.
Because we are newcomers to the town of Maycomb and are hearing the urban legends for the first time with the children, we can immediately dive into their unsure world where nothing is for certain and there is never any reason to doubt the adults as they've been around longer. Scout's humour and perfect ability to express exactly what's on her mind and Jem's growing maturity and leadership skills are the perfect combination to accompany on a discovery of small-town depression and segregation.
Alongside these summer adventures is the children's father, the wise and humble lawyer Atticus Finch, preparing to undertake the case of his life: defending a black man who stands accused of raping a white woman. Given the novel's time and setting, it's easy to realise that Tom Robinson, the man charged, faces a biased jury. It's fascinating and inspiring, however, to watch Atticus do more than defend his client – he truly believes in Tom's innocence in spite of the violence and prejudice that beings to bestow itself on his family and struggles to teach his children to fight for the truth and justice of basic human rights.
To Kill a Mockingbird's beauty lies in the innocence and humour of its narration. As the children grow and learn more about the society they live in, so do we. Scout's inquisitive personality is a perfect leader to take us through the book, questioning people's motives and morals in a way that most of the town's adults would be persecuted for. Scout's youth and likeability allows her to get away with making remarks and asking questions on issues that are usually left unspoken. Having a protagonist ask all the questions on our mind is a dream and with her quick-witted humour as a perfect accompaniment, we take a walk through a world facing segregation and hypocrisy that, sadly, still hasn't been brought to an end to this day.
If there's one thing new readers can take from this classic novel is a lesson in humanity and compassion. It's unfortunate that the majority of issues brought up in To Kill a Mockingbird are still prominent in all parts of the world but it is through reading works like Harper Lee's that we can hope to receive a lesson in cause and effect and go on to be inspired enough to teach others and generations to come.
Thank you so much to the publishers, and thank you very much to The Bookbag for allowing me to review this classic novel.
In my honest opinion, I'd encourage everyone to get their hands on a copy of this book. There's no age limit and it shouldn't matter what kind of genre you usually look to read. To Kill a Mockingbird is a heartwarming and poignant classic that you won't be able to put down. We think you might also enjoy The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Scout, Atticus and Boo by Mary McDonagh Murphy will help you to up Mockingbird into context.
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