by Harper Lee
When a local African American man, Tom Robinson, is accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, Maycomb turns into a nasty little town. It is nasty for Atticus, Scout, Jem, and Calpurnia. Atticus, a white lawyer, is assigned to defend Mr. Robinson. And then, people disliking Atticus, Scout and Jem start getting bombarded with people calling their father “nigger lover” and other hateful things. And with the court case coming up soon, the pressure is on Atticus to keep Tom safe in jail (from people who want him dead), keep his own family safe, and make sure justice is served. Also with Bob Ewell running around the town making mischief, he just might be finding himself in a whole lot of bother.
I had heard about this book about 3 years ago and I always thought it was really hard, just like I still think that Pride and Prejudice is hard. I thought that I was never going to read it. I though I would read this book when I was a grown up. But when I started my grade this year, I saw our reading list for the year, and To Kill A Mockingbird was on the list. I told my friends and only one of them had read it. They said they had loved the book but that it was a little weird. That kind of put me off the book. But then it was time to read it. The first three chapters are a little confusing because it is referring back into the past and I got a little lost in it. But after that I was thoroughly enjoying it. Many of my friends did not read the book because of the language. The language is not complex, like Anne of Green Gables, but it has a Southern accent to it. This story is set in a Southern state so everyone has an accent or is not very literate. Some of them cannot talk well so it is hard to understand them.
This book is quite old, written in 1960 and all. This is one explanation of why the book is so racist. It was a racist time and it was a racist area that the book was set in. But I do warn you, if you are offended by racial discrimination then this book is not the right one for you. They do use the word negro and nigger. They use some terms like “nigger lover” and other phrases with the word “nigger” or “negro.” But I do have to say, you should read this book because it is definitely a classic and I think you would be missing out. Hope that you enjoy the book.
Just to help you when you read the book
Jean Louise “Scout” Finch – Daughter
Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch – Son
Atticus Finch – Father
Calpurnia – Finche’s “black cook” there is not mother in the household so Calpurnia takes on this role
Charles Baker “Dill” Harris – a summer and neighbor friend of Scout and Jem
Arthur “Boo” Radley – a man who lives in Maycomb, who is believed to be insane Bob Ewell – father of Mayella Ewell
Mayella Ewell – blamed Tom Robinson of raping her, brought court case about
Miss Maudie Atkinson – Finche’s neighbor, sharp tounged widow
Aunt Alexandra – Atticus’s sister
Tom Robinson – accused of raping Mayella Ewell
Nathan Radley – older brother of Boo Radley
For more information on the characters click here.