Publication Date: July 11, 1960
Publisher: Arrow Books (This cover)
Targeted Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Coming-of-age/Anti-racism/Historical fiction
Blurb: ‘Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’
A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel – a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.
This is one of those classic books that I had been putting off for a long time because I thought it would be way up on the “books that go over young kids head” but I was glad that I was disappointed.
The story follows three years of Scout’s life with her brother Jem, her father Atticus and their housekeeper Calpurnia. The first half of the book is just about Scout and Jem’s childhood. It is sort of an in-depth perspective of their childhood and how their father has shaped the way they think about life around them. The second half concerns about the trials of a black man who is accused of raping a white woman and Atticus has been called to defend him.
I love how this story didn’t necessarily have a happy ending, how it wrapped the idea of how black people were treated during the Great Depression and I also love how all of this has been showed to us by the eyes of a young girl who is able to understand what a ridiculous number of adults failed to- equality to people of all diversity.
My favourite character was definitely Scout. The way she looks at the world, her humour and the reasons she comes up with for not going to school make her fabulous. Atticus and Calpurnia are my next two favourite characters.
Although I could see some sexism in certain scenes of this novel I understand that this book was written a long while ago when feminism was not considered important.
And while this book doesn’t touch a lot of other ways black people were treated horribly, it still passes on a phenomenal message. I’m so glad I read it because I enjoyed every minute of Scout, her humor and her innocence.
Why should you read this book? Because it reminds us of how far we have come in regards to racial equality but looking at recent events we must realize that we still have a long way to go.
Lots of love,