To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird is the famous book by reclusive author Harper Lee. Many know it better as the 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck. However the book has become a modern classic and truly deserves its Pulitzer Prize and more than its school curriculum status. It is a beautiful and ground breaking novel, part of the BBCs 100 Novels that Shaped the World and was enjoyed by Suffolk Library Reading Group during Lockdown.

The novel is the story of 6 year old Scout and her big brother Jem and the life they live with their father, lawyer Atticus Finch, during the Great Depression in 1930s Alabama. Tomboy Scout narrates the story and tells us about her starting school, friends, summer fun and the mysterious neighbour Boo Radley with beautiful childhood innocence, many of us may have long forgotten. However it is a court case defended by their father that awakens Scout and Jem to the racial prejudices and divisions within their small southern town. Atticus defends Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white girl and this causes Scout and Jem to question the society they have grown up in against the principals they have learnt and watched in their father.

This was my second or third time reading To Kill a Mockingbird and I got more out of it again than my last read. This time the children’s voices and their innocent incomprehension at what was happening, really stood out for me. One of the group thought “I read it years ago and I think, being younger, the shock was in the trial and injustice…This time I was engaged in the relationships adults to children and the in-between.” 

Although this book depicts racism in the 1930s; was ground breaking to have been written in the 1960s; it is sad to think that it is still so relevant and has much to teach today.

Submitted By Tinya