Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee/Novel-Coming of Age

Hello dear Readers,

Below, my thoughts on To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Title: To Kill a Mockingbird
Genre: Novel/Coming of Age
Author: Harper Lee
Publisher: Harper Perennial-Modern Classic
Language: English
Paperback: 323 pages

Book Description

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

My thoughts
*I gave 5/5 stars on Goodreads

Set in the 1930's in Alabama, the Author, Harper Lee, with such a great writing style does an amazing job bringing the childhood of that period of time to life. To Kill a Mockingbird tells the story of Jem and Scout, a brother and a sister and their childhood in the Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama. 

Considered an American Classic, To Kill a Mockingbird shows us such unique characters and how they deal with the differences between black and white people. Especially all the events that occurred when one fall, Jem and Scout's father, Atticus, is defending in court a black man, Tom Robinson, accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell.

The first thing I like about the book is having, an almost nine year old Scout, as the narrator of this story. I think she is funny, and she likes to find answers in everything she sees and everything happening around her. It was such a refreshing and interesting experience to have a narrator that despite her young age brings deep thinking and an urge of understanding on why things happen. How her attitude and way of thinking change after her father, Atticus tells her:  "You never understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-" 'Sir?" "-until you climb into his skin and walk around it.

I also like the author's writing style and the structure of the book. How the story flows, easy to understand and keep up with the events. The length of every chapter was another thing I liked, not too long. 

Things I found very interesting: 
  • The fact that Scout's teacher gets angry at Scout because she knows how to read and asks her to stop because her father does not know how to teach. Instead of encouraging her to keep making progress on her reading, she asks her to stop. 
  • How Scout's Aunt, Alexandra, keeps trying to teach Scout how to be a lady. I think Alexandra is such a complex character. Racists in her beliefs in regards to black people but at the same time always caring for Jem, Scout and her brother, Atticus. 
  • Even we are living in a different period of time now but how we still see those differences between black and white people and how some people still cannot accept people different from themselves.
  • Judgement and how opinions play a part in society: Jem and Scout, especially Jem keeps wanting to figure out what happened or what is going on with Boo Radley. They come out with all kinds of things but at the end, judging before knowing the truth and having our  opinions.

I do not have anything negative to say about this book. Overall, an excellent book. I think Harper Lee's writing is beautiful and this story in particular, has it all, great characters, great plot, structure and a story that engages you in a way you just want to keep reading page after page.

My Favorite Quotes

"You never understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-" 'Sir?" "-until you climb into his skin and walk around it.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand."


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