This book has been on my to-read list for years, so thanks to everyone who voted for it to be our first online book club selection.
If you have never read the book before, you can find a summary HERE. (Spoiler alert if you are in the middle of it!) I wish I could say I find it hard to believe that such things could ever take place, but the fact is they did - and do. There are many parallels between the trial of Tom Robinson in the book and the Scottsboro trial in Alabama, and bigotry and prejudice are still very much alive in this world, especially in the rural south. Click HERE for some historical background information on the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, narrated by "Scout" Finch, six years old when the novel begins. I love Scout for her insightfulness and courage; I love her father, Atticus, for his wisdom and his unconditional acceptance of her and her brother Jem. A glimpse into what it was like growing up in rural Alabama in the 1930's, the work transcends time and explores timeless issues: good versus evil, social equality, racism, education. For example, as a former home schooling parent, I was struck by how much Scout despised school, and with good reason. Still, she learned to play the "game," although the most important lessons she learned took place outside the school building.
This book left me with a clearer understanding of several truths:
- There are both good and evil tendencies inside each of us.
- Challenging circumstances can help us to become our best selves.
- Innocence is precious and must be protected.
I marked dozens of quotes as I was reading in this book, but here are a couple of my favorites.
I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. (Atticus, Chapter 11)
She seemed glad to see me when I appeared in the kitchen, and by watching her I began to think there was some skill involved in being a girl. (Scout, Chapter 12)
Tell me a little bit about your experience with To Kill A Mockingbird. Did you love it? Hate it? Who were your favorite characters and why? What did you take away from this book?
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Please leave your comments at the end of this post, and then pop over to Petit Fours and Hot Tamales, where I am blogging about reading today. What a coincidence!