Set in Maycomb, Alabama in the early 1930s, To Kill a Mockingbird is about the adventures of a young girl named Scout Finch and her brother, Jem. Their innocent childhood of playing games and making up stories is suddenly threatened when their father, Atticus, decides to defend a colored man in court. Throughout the novel, Scout and Jem try to maintain faith in humanity, as well as try to understand the human nature of good and evil.
Many themes are apparent throughout the book; however, the most important are the theme of morals and good versus evil. Many characters struggle to distinguish between right and wrong. Atticus is a wonderful example of an honorable and ethical man, who teaches readers to be open-minded and to not judge others because of the color of their skin.
As the novel goes on, readers will become attached to the many characters, including Atticus, Scout, Jem, their neighbor, Boo Radley, and their friend, Dill. In my opinion, Boo Radley is the most interesting character in the book. Due to the number of scary rumors, the children are both constantly afraid and fascinated by him. Boo is a man of mystery, and his secret isn’t revealed until the very end of the book.
I love the fact that the novel is narrated by a naïve six-year-old girl, since it shows the story in a point of view that one is not used to seeing in serious, realistic fiction. Because Scout is so young, she describes the plot from her perspective, without really comprehending the importance of the numerous events. This makes the reader actually think, and try to put together information to get a better understanding of the true meaning of the novel.
I first read To Kill a Mockingbird in seventh grade and I certainly enjoyed it. I have read it over and over again, each time gaining more understanding of the characters and overall message that Harper Lee conveys. Now, it is my favorite classic because it is deep, funny at some parts, and teaches many important life lessons. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone over the age of thirteen, and can completely agree with English teachers that To Kill a Mockingbird is “the best book ever!”
-Kaylie W., 9th grade