I've blogged about this book before, many times, but my freshmen have just finished it, and so I wanted to blog about it again.
I cannot say how much I love this book. The narrator, a little girl nick-named Scout, learns much throughout the book about right and wrong, and how to be an honorable human being. While she connects with many people throughout the book, her biggest influence is her father, Atticus. He's a single parent, their mom having died when Scout was too little to remember. Calpurnia and Aunt Alexandria are there to help out, but Atticus has the bigger share of teaching Scout and her brother Jem about life and how to treat others. The title To Kill A Mockingbird was very appropriate, I think, because according to Atticus, mockingbirds don't do anything to hurt people, they just sing for people. There are many "mockingbirds" in this book, good people who haven't done anything wrong, and only want to help others. Tom Robinson is the first one who comes to mind, a decent man who is blamed for something he didn't do, just because he had the "unmitigated temerity to feel sorry for a white woman." Atticus himself is also a mockingbird, working hard to serve his family and his community, and getting little back aside from criticism and ridicule. Arthur Radley is another I can think of, a good man, who after one minor mistake as a young person, is never let out into society again by his overly controlling family.
For myself, my favor for a book is determined by how well it helps people to become better, kinder, more tolerant, etc.
To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the books that does those things for me. I'm glad Harper Lee wrote it.