0 stars I know I am risking a serious FILM AT 11 moment and a club upside the head from Captain Obvious for voicing this, but nabbit dog I still think it needs to be said To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the BEST and MOST IMPORTANT American novels ever written Okay, I said it, and I will wait patiently while you get your DUHs and DERs out of the way and hang your no shit signs outside for Inspector Holmes.
Okay, now given the gruntload of reviews ratings this book has I know I m not the first person to wag my chin about how amazing it is Still, I am going to chance coming off like that annoying dingleberry at the tail end of a huge porcelain party because I truly have a pile of love for this booksorry for taking the metanalogy there just now, but I promise nopoop references for the rest of the reviewSo if my review can bring a fewpeople into the Atticus Finch Fan Club, I will be just flush with happy On one level, this book is a fairly straight forward coming of age story about life in a small Alabama town during the Great Depression It has a very slice of lifesaver warmth and simplicity to it that I think resonates with a lot of readers It certainly does with me and I think the adjective charm may have been invented to describe the novel Despite how easing flowing the narrative is, this book is both extremely and deceptively powerful in its discussion of race, tolerance and human decency Most importantly, this book shows us by example the courage to stand all up in the grill of injustice and say Not today, Asshole Not on my watch That is a lesson that I think we can never be reminded of too often When bad people do bad things to good people, the rest of us good people need to sack up and be counted regardless of how scary it might be Easier said then done, I know But at least that should be the standard to which we strive Atticus Fitch is the epitome of that standard He is the role model to end all role models and what is most impressive is that he comes across as such a REAL person There is no John Wayne Jack Bauer Dirty Harry cavalry charging BSD machismo about him Just a direct, unflinching, unrelenting willingness to always do what he thinks is right As Atticus daughter Scout puts it so well It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.
I was to make something crystal before going on because it is an important part of my love of this story Notwithstanding this book s powerful, powerful moral message, it never once ever comes off as preachy or heavy handed There is no lecture to be given here The only sermon we are privy to is the example of Atticus Finch and the simple yet unwavering strength and quiet decency of the man Even when asked by his daughter about the horrendous racism being displayed by the majority of the townsfolk during a critical point in the story, Atticus responds with conviction but withoutThey re certainly entitled to think that, and they re entitled to full respect for their opinions but before I can live with other folks I ve got to live with myself The one thing that doesn t abide by majority rule is a person s conscienceThis is a special story Oh, and as a huge bonus it is also an absolute joy to read Lee s prose is silky smooth and as cool as the other side of the pillow read this book read it with your children, read it with your spouse, read it by yourself.
read it the bigoted assclown that you work with or see around the neighborhood Just make sure you read it It is a timeless classic and one of the books that I consider a life changer 6.
0 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION BONUS QUOTE This is Scout talking to Atticus after getting to know someone she had previously be afraid ofWhen they finally saw him, why he hadn t done any of those thingsAtticus, he was real nice His hands were under my chin, pulling up the cover, tucking it around me Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them He turned out the light and went into Jem s room He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morningEmphasis added With endless books and infinitelyto be written in the future, it is rare occasion that I take the time to reread a novel As women s history month is upon us 2019 , I have kept revising my monthly lineup to feature books by remarkable women across the spectrum Yet, none of these nonfiction books pay homage to the writers of the books themselves Even with memoirs, the prose focuses on the author s achievements in her chosen field Last week a goodreads friend and I paid tribute to women authors in a daily literary journal In one of my friend s posts, she pointed out that as recently as 1960, the author of the most endearing of American novels had to use a masculinized version of her name in fear of not being published Nelle Harper Lee of Monroeville, Alabama published To Kill a Mockingbird under her middle name, so only those well read readers are aware of the author s full name It is in this regard, that I included Pulitzer and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Nelle Harper Lee in my Women s History month lineup It is as auspicious of a time as any to reread one of America s greatest novels When I was in ninth grade English class, I read Harper Lee s novel for the first time At age fourteen I was hardly a polished writer and struggled with many of the assignments Yet, I do remember that the top essay in the class focused on the overarching theme of courage and how Harper Lee showed how each of the characters, major and minor, embodied this trait in the trying times associated with the novel It was courageous of a southern woman to write a novel with this subject matter prior to the passage of the civil rights act It is of little wonder to me looking back now that she chose to publish under a gender neutral name Perhaps, she feared a lynch mob or being outcast in her home town It was a trying time as the federal government asserted itself against states still grieving from the war between the states and holding out as the last bulwarks of white superiority Harper Lee exhibited as much courage as the characters in her novel, and rightfully was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her work As such, being courageous starts from the top and works its way down to each and every character of this timeless work In 1930s rural Maycomb, Alabama people were pretty much set in their way of life Town folk had received an education and worked as lawyers, doctors, bankers, and businessmen The country folk may or may not have received an education because they had to work the fields and many were illiterate Even the majority of those educated white folk still saw themselves as superior to blacks, and few, if any, had the audacity to take a black s word over a white s even if it were the correct moral thing to do Yet, the crux of Lee s novel is a court case threatening to disrupt this way of life, having the town divide along both racial and moral lines, and having each character step into others shoes and view the world from another s perspective Maycomb at the time embodied many rural American cities, isolated from progress as town set in its ways with few people who were willing to see the world from another perspective One man was, however, a lawyer named Atticus Finch who is among the most revered fictional characters ever created Even though this court case should not have been his, his superiors selected Atticus to counsel a black defendant because they realized that he was the one man in Maycomb who had both the ability to empathize and the courage to do so His neighbor Mrs Maudie Atkinson noted that Atticus was the same man in the court house as he was at home and had nothing to fear A widower, he instilled these values to his children Jeremy Atticus Jem and Jean Louise Scout from a young age, passing a strong moral compass onto his children In addition to critiquing southern race relations, Lee s novel has endeared itself to children with the legend of Boo Radley From the time they were young, Jem, Scout, and their summer friend Dill had courage to go to the Radley house trying to get Boo to come out even though all the other kids said the house was spooked Atticus told them to put a halt to these childish games and explained Boo Radley s background to them The town claimed that Boo Radley was a ghost, but perhaps the reason he did not leave the house is because he did not want to As the children grew older, Atticus warned them that there would be darker times ahead and they would have to be courageous in the face of what people said to them behind their backs From the time Scout began school in first grade, she inhibited Atticus ability to stand up for what was right Her teacher Miss Robinson was new to Maycomb and did not understand people s ways Scout explained about the Cunninghams, the Ewells, as well as other families at a personal cost to herself As Scout grew older and was able to step into other people s shoes , she grew to understand differences between folks however, she and Jem realized that differences did not make the world distinctly black and white or right and wrong During an era when children were looked upon as unintelligent, Scout and Jem were wise beyond their years and following in their father s footsteps Harper Lee created strong archetypal characters and had each embody their own courage Each s courage allowed Atticus to teach his children a life lesson that would endure for the rest of their lives The family s neighbor Mrs Henry Lafayette DuBose demonstrates courage as she battles a final illness Third grade teacher Mrs Gates exhibits courage as she teaches Scout s class about the rise of Nazism in Germany and th encourages her students to think for themselves about the differences between prejudices at home and abroad The African American characters all demonstrate strong courage as well The Finch s housekeeper Calpurnia is a bridge between the white and black communities of Maycomb and does not hesitate to teach Scout and Jem life lessons as they arise The Reverend Sykes welcomes Jem and Scout into his congregation as though they were his own and invites them to sit in the colored balcony at time when segregation was still the law He risked a lynching and knew that the Finch family could possibly be labeled as negro lovers, yet Reverend Sykes played a small role in proving that one s skin color should not determine whether someone is right or wrong Of course, as part of the overarching story line, Boo Radley can be viewed as the most courageous character of them all It is through the courage of an author to create characters who will stand up for what is morally right at a large cost to themselves that she created an award winning novel that was ahead of its time for its era It is little wonder that the courage of these fictional characters has made the novel as beloved as it is today I believe that the courage exhibited by all these characters has made the town of Maycomb, Alabama stand the test of time and remain the timeless classic that it is Most people can relate to those who have the courage to stand up for what they think is right or to fight against those tougher than them This character trait has endeared the Finch family to millions of readers and will continue to do so for generations to come Whenever a person asks what book would you give as a gift or what is the perfect book, To Kill a Mockingbird is my first choice I find that it is perfect for any time but most appropriate in spring as in addition to courage there is an underlying theme of hope Harper Lee won the Pulitzer for this timeless classic, and it also won first place in the Great American read as America s best novel Thus I can think of no better way to honor women s history month than with a timeless book that has and will continue to capture the hearts and minds of all of its readers 5 stars all time favorites shelf