One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many distinctions since its original publication in 1960. It won the Pulitzer Prize, has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. Most recently, librarians across the country gave the book the highest of honors by voting it the best novel of the twentieth century.
Every once and awhile, a book comes along and marks you forever. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books for me. I first read it in eighth grade, and I have never forgotten it. In fact, I still have the copy that I bought in eighth grade on my bookshelf. The pages have yellowed, my highlights (no doubt quotes for my essay) have faded, and it now has that amazing "old book" smell - dust, paper, and memory. There have been books that I have loved as a child that I have reread as an adult which have lost some of their luster, but To Kill a Mockingbird just gets better and better each time I read it.
Atticus Finch is my hero, and I love the sassy Scout, Jem, and Boo Radley. It amazes me that this Harper Lee's only (soon to change with the release of Go Set a Watchman in July!) novel. Lee perfect captures small town life and the systematic prejudice that unfortunately still permeates our social and justice systems. As well as what it's like as a child who is growing up and beginning to understand the imperfections of the world around them.
This book is such a treasure. It could be a very dark and accusing story, but I always come away from it with a sense of hope. It is a simple story that has profound meaning that resonates even today. I am in awe of Harper Lee's talent when I read this book. How amazing to create something with such longevity and importance. In my opinion, everyone should be required to read this book.
I cannot say enough good things about this book. It touched my heart when I was twelve years old and continues to touch it every time I open its pages.