by Harper Lee
Hardcover: 296 pages
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (June 1960)
Rated: 5 stars of 5 possible
“...They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us." That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.”This brilliantly told story of two motherless children takes place during the great depression. Some of the events depicted in the story are based on real events of the time; the town and the characters are fictional. The lessons Jean Louise (Scout) Finch and her brother Jem learn are priceless lessons on courage, prejudice, honesty, justice, and injustice and more.
To Kill a Mockingbird grabbed my attention immediately. While this novel is entertaining, it is not a "fluffy" read. The story also bears deep analysis of the symbolism used by the author. For instance, the mocking bird is symbolic of innocence.
While the story is told in first person by an adult Scout reminiscing about her childhood, she recounts a child's observations with an adult vocabulary. This perspective adds a depth to the story that would not be present if the vocabulary used was that of a child. Young Scout appears to be wise beyond her years (not quite nine at the end of the story); she is also a recipient of her father Atticus's unique parenting style. He believes that the instances of disobedience, the mistakes and errors in judgement made by his children, contain valuable lessons which can help them to better understand and deal with life if they can grasp these lessons.
Recommended to readers who like to read and analyze a story. There is much material for analysis here and many study guides available online and elsewhere for the reader who is so minded. Yet unlike many stories deep enough to withstand the extended analysis, I can also recommend this to readers who just want to be entertained.