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To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

February 25, 2011

Since I have been on a roll rereading some of my all time favorites, I thought I would add To Kill a Mockingbird into the mix. This book is an all time revered American classic and a Pulitzer winner. Atticus Finch is one of the most revered literary heroes in all of literature. He serves as a moral hero for all of humanity, and role model to the legal profession.

 To Kill a Mockingbird is narrated by six-year-old Scout Finch, the daughter of Atticus. Scout, her brother Jem, and their neighbor friend Dill are fascinated by their reclusive neighbor “Boo” Radley. They mock him, and Atticus prods them to see life from Boo’s perspective. Boo continues to elude the children, all the while leaving them gifts from the shadows of his home.

 Much to the chagrin of the racist white community in Maycomb, Atticus agrees to defend a black man named Tom Robinson on the charges of raping a white woman named Mayella Ewell. The children begin to take a lot of abuse from the community, which leads them to be embraced by the black community. Tom is found guilty, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Despite the verdict, Mayalla’s father, Bob, feels a great deal of shame and eventually attacks Scout and Jem, who are saved by the reclusive Boo. Scout finally begins to truly embrace her father’s advice to practice sympathy and understanding for others.

 It is a novel about following your conscience and doing what is right, no matter what the consequences.  It is a book about having the courage and compassion to do what is right. The Finch family should serve as role models for all of humanity. We should all practice kindness, sympathy and understanding for others. The world would be such a better place if we all followed these simple guidelines.

 This is such a profound and touching novel. Scout and Atticus are two of the most unforgettable characters in literary history. It’s impossible not to love the novel, its themes, and its characters. It is a remarkable book. One I could praise all day long. It is a book I will be introducing to my own son at a very early age. It is a book everyone should read.

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