**I was saddened to wake this morning to find that the great Harper Lee passed away. By a strange coincidence I had just written this review yesterday. I’m sharing it now in remembrance of her and her timeless gift to the world. 

Thank you, Ms. Lee. You will be missed.

Title: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Rating: 8.5

Description: Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus–three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up. (From Amazon)

 

What I Liked:

Scout. Atticus. Jem. Calpurnia. Boo. Miss Maudie. Okay basically every character.

I loved the relationship Scout and Jem have with Atticus. He is their anchor in the turbulent sea of childhood emotions. Immovable. Constant. He allows them to drift in the waves of troubles they encounter, but he continually has a firm hold on them, prepared to steady them should they need it. What an amazing man.

I loved how Lee used characters as exceptions to prove a rule. In a small racist town, Atticus and a few other good people stand apart.

I loved how Scout grew throughout the story, and I loved her at the end. I just adore her spunk and sass. Seeing the very adult situations through a child’s eyes offers such an honest perspective into human character. If by chance you haven’t read it, I don’t want to spoil it, but the moment when Atticus is at the jail is pure gold. 

Full disclosure: I am pretty sure I was supposed to read this in high school. I am also pretty sure I just read it on Cliffsnotes. I know. I’m a horrible person. Don’t ask me why. Can I blame it on my teen angst? Sure. But I came around eventually! (No one tell Mrs. Kish.) 

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What I Didn’t Like:

At times I felt I was being led around a small Alabamian town during the dead of summer. Where was I going? What was happening? Is there a point to this? How long will it take?

The beginning of the book dragged a bit. I understand the need for world building but just felt it could have been a little peppier.

And I loved Dill but sometimes wondered what he was doing in the story.

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Book Club:
Everybody loved it. Of course.

We enjoyed reading it as adults with children, which gave us an entirely new respect for Atticus as a father. We all agreed that he was a brilliant example of a loving, kind and compassionate man.

It was a great book to discuss, and made for some lively discussion about right vs. wrong, how actions reflect a character, and how much we loved Atticus.

Book club rating: 8.625 (No rounding here, folks. You get all the information.)

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Extras:

Why I won’t be reading Go Set a Watchman:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/25/opinion/joe-nocera-the-watchman-fraud.html

TL;DR:

What’s behind that tree? Boo! Just kidding, it was a ham. 

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