Monday, December 6, 2010
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
By: Harper Lee
Audiobook Read by: Sally Darling
My rating: AMAZING
I have heard of this book all my life but never read it. I came across it on the shelf at the library and decided to see what all the hype was about. I am so glad I did! My "AMAZING" rating is reserved for books that make a profound impact on me, not just as really great books, but by the message that is contained in the pages. This book truly deserves this distinction!
Scout is just an average little girl in 1930s Georgia. A tomboy to the core, full of adventure and mischief. She joins her brother Jem, and their best friend Dill in speculation about the mysterious "Boo Radley" who lives a couple of houses down. Together they try to get him to come out of his house but succeed only in getting themselves in trouble time and time again. She goes to school and just as any red blooded child would, hates it thoroughly. She struggles with her teacher and gets into more than one fight with the boys. In every respect she is a normal little girl.
Normal as she might be, she is plunged into an extraordinary drama that shapes her life forever. When her father Atticus, agrees to defend a black man, falsely accused of rape by a white girl, things become far from normal! Scout and Jem learn the hard way that justice is not always guaranteed. As the trial gets moving they face angry classmates who think it's wrong for Atticus to side with a Negro. Atticus teaches them that respect for your fellow man should be colorblind but all around them they see family, neighbors, and country folk who obviously disagree with that statement. Nothing makes sense to the children as they watch the actions of people whom they thought of as good folks but were behaving like hateful heathens. At every turn they are faced with the realization that love just doesn't seem to be a word these people learned very well. Through it all however, Atticus never wavers in his determination to show his children the proper way to treat one another. In the end, as they watch the drama unfold before them, they become as determined as their father to treat everyone as equals, no matter what the cost. They know that they aren't going to change the world over night, but together, they can start it in the right direction!
This book was a powerful reminder not only of the race issue that has been so prevalent for so long, but also the discrimination against those of a different background, financial situation, or upbringing, regardless of skin color. So many people feel that mixing with those of a lower social position is a bad thing but what they don't seem to realize is that their high and mighty attitude simply lowers them to a level even lower than the ones they look down on. God made each and every one of us and nobody is better than anyone else. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, or how you were brought up, we are all the same in the eyes of God. The richest most powerful person in the world is no better than the homeless child living on the streets. Sure, some people choose wrong paths to follow, they might be criminals, they might be mean and nasty to those around them, or they might just be impossible to get along with, but God loves everyone the same and we should too! In the end we will all face the same thing, death and God's judgement. Do you think God is going to discriminate against anyone? We will all face Him as equals, with our lives laid bare for everyone to see. I tell you what, I want a life filled with love for my fellow man to be what God finds when he looks at me, how about you?
I was very moved by this book as you can see, but I enjoyed the story as well. Scout's narration of her adventures was very enjoyable and seeing some of these events through the eyes of a child was very refreshing. Many times throughout the book I was laughing or crying. This was a small window into a way of life from long ago. We can all learn from this story and have some fun while we're at it!
I listened to the audiobook read by Sally Darling. Sally did a spectacular job with this book. She had such a great voice and accent for the story. I loved the way she gave it the feel of really being told by a young girl.
Overall, this was truly an AMAZING book. It gave me a lot to think about and caused me to examine my own life and motivations. Would I have the courage to do what Atticus did? Am I teaching my children the moral values that they need to grow up to be honorable adults? I hope so. If you have never read this book I strongly urge you to get it soon! This is one book everyone should read!