Last January, I organized an activity which basically outlines why you should read To Kill A Mockingbird. It was a very engaging discussion attended by literary majors, who haven't read the book written by American author Harper Lee. I was so surprised that for three hours I kept on talking about the book and the lessons it taught me. If you haven't read the book, here are the reasons why you should read To Kill A Mockingbird.
1. It's American Literature at Its Finest
Published in 1960 and awarded with a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961, To Kill A Mockingbird is one book that discussed sensitive issues without making you feel uneasy because of its warmth-of-home atmosphere and the effortless humor evident in the children's conversations. The quality of the book is one of the best reasons why you should read To Kill a Mockingbird. It's my favorite book and one that introduced me to American Literature. It was adapted as a film in 1962 starring Gregory Peck. Yes, I'm saying you should watch the movie too.
2. It's the Only Book Written by Harper Lee
No one really knows why this woman from Monroeville, Alabama did not go on to finish a second novel after this critically-acclaimed work. She did try to work on one but set it aside because she was unsatisfied. At some point, the book was banned in schools and was labelled "immoral." Why? Read the book.
3. It's a Great Book on Parenting
One of the book's main characters was lawyer Atticus Finch, who did not only show the good qualities of a lawyer, but presented by example the traits of a good father. This is a book that teaches one to be a good parent in the person of Atticus Finch.
4. It's an Intricate Depiction of Racial Discrimination
A black man accused of allegedly raping a white woman. That's how far I can go at this point. I don't want to give away too much - no spoilers here - but this is a central plot point of this book.
5. It Gives You Glimpses of Childrens' Growth
The book presented three child characters, who grew up as the plot progresses. It is realistic in painting an image of a community that truly existed and where children actually lived.
6. It's an Easy, Comfortable Read
It's like being part of the story and seeing yourself being part of the scene. The words used in the book are very reader friendly; you don't choke while reading it, and you won't need to have a dictionary nearby to look up words you don't already know. That I promise.
7. It's a Book You Can Read at 13, 30 or 60
I first read the book when I was 13. I read it again when I was about 18 or 19. I read it again at 27. There is something so universal and all-encompassing about this book that I always find something new every time I learned it in different stages of my life.
Another interesting trivia? Harper Lee has refused interviews and publicity since 1964 and the closest thing you can get about this near-90 writing legend are interviews from friends. When you've read the book, let me know what you think. To those who have read it, what's your favorite part of To Kill A Mockingbird?