Are you looking for a good book to read? Fictional books abound at the library and your local bookstore, but it’s hard to know which ones are worth picking up. One book that everyone should read is called To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Harper Lee grew up in the southern United States during the 1930s and 40s and wrote only one full-length novel. It sold like hotcakes and was even made into a Hollywood movie starring Gregory Peck. Today, it remains one of America’s best-selling fictional pieces of literature.
To Kill a Mockingbird is set in 1930s Alabama. To be precise, the story spans three years: 1933 to 1935. The story centers around a 10 year old girl named Scout Finch. Scout lives with her brother, Jem, and her father, Atticus Finch. Atticus is widowed and a lawyer in the town of Maycomb, where the family resides. Next door, a boy name Dill is befriended by Scout and Jem, and together, the threesome runs into amazing adventures together.
While Scout, Jem and Dill hang out during the hot, lazy summers in Maycomb, Jem and Scout’s father, Atticus, is dealing with a case involving a black man who is accused of sexually assaulting a white girl from the town. The book talks seriously about race in the American south and offers a raw perspective on what it was like to be on either side of the race fence at that point in history. Because of Atticus’s position as a defendant to Tom Robinson, the black man on trial, Scout and Jem are made fun of at school. Many of the white folks in town turn against Atticus and try to take the law into their own hands.
The story has many parallels with the real life of Harper Lee, who also grew up in Alabama in the 1930s and had a father who was an attorney in their small town. Lee’s mother suffered from a mental condition, and she died when Lee was 25. In addition, like Atticus Finch, Lee’s father defended black men who were accused of a heinous crime. Dill, the friend from next-door in the novel, was even based on a childhood friend of Lee’s named Truman Capote. Like Harper Lee, Truman grew up to become a famous writer who is still well-known today. Both Lee and Capote are known as southern gothic writers. They remained friends until Capote’s death in 1984.
You will be able to find several copies of To Kill a Mockingbird at your local library or bookstore. It is also available online. Pick up a copy today, and dive into the world of a child growing up at a pivotal point in America’s history.