To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reviewed by Adrienne
To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic, coming-of-age story about a young girl named Scout Finch who lives with her brother Jem and their father Atticus in the town of Maycomb, Alabama. The book starts with Scout and Jem meeting a young boy named Dill one summer. The trio proceeds to play by acting out stories. On the Finchs’ street, there is a house called the Radley Place, owned by Nathan Radley and his brother Boo Radley, who has not come outside of the house in years. This house sparks Dill’s imagination and he becomes fascinated by the place, telling stories about it. When the summer is over, Scout has her first day at school and almost immediately decides that she absolutely hates it. Walking past the Radley Place, Scout and Jem find things in the knothole of a tree on the property. These things turn out to be gifts for them. When Dill returns the following summer, he, Scout, and Jem begin to act out the story of Boo Radley, which Atticus strongly discourages. Atticus tries to get the children to see that they should not make judgments of others prematurely. The children continue their antics in secret, though, and on Dill’s last day at Maycomb, they sneak onto the Radley property. This is seen by Nathan Radley, who shoots at them to get them away from his house. In the whole scuffle, Jem loses his pants only to later find them hanging over the fence, mended. As the seasons progress, Jem and Scout find more presents in the knothole of the tree, but the knothole eventually gets plugged up by Nathan Radley with cement. Later, Atticus agrees to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who was accused of raping a white woman. This causes Scout and Jem to be the subject of abuse by their peers due to the racist nature of the community. On the contrary, the children are embraced by the community at the local black church when taken by their cook, Calpurnia. The trial eventually begins and, despite the large amount of evidence proving Tom Robinson’s innocence, he is convicted by the all-white jury.
To Kill A Mockingbird deals with so many important issues, most of all capitalizing on the issue of prejudice. This is shown in the prejudice against Boo Radley because of his supposed mental instability and mysterious nature, and in Tom Robinson because of the color of his skin. Because the book talks about these very important issues, I absolutely recommend it for young people to read. In a lot schools To Kill A Mockingbird is a required reading book, but I also highly recommend kids to read the book on their own time as well. There are some parts of the book that could get undermined by the schoolwork accompanying it, and I think it is too thought-provoking of a book to not be taken seriously by those who read it.