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Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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It seems funny to me that I’m writing a review of To Kill a Mockingbird. This is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that has sold 30 million copies worldwide and is never out of print. This is a novel consistently read by high school students across the country and was selected by the National Endowment of the Arts for its Big Read program designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American popular culture. Time magazine also included To Kill a Mockingbird in its Top 100 novels of all-time list. So why is there a review of To Kill a Mockingbird here on BlogCritics? Well, Harper Lee’s universally loved and admired novel recently turned 50.

Like millions of others, I first read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school. I generally did not enjoy the books assigned to read in school, but To Kill a Mockingbird was an exception. I love the novel so much that I tend to reread To Kill a Mockingbird every few years. Each time I read the book, I notice something different. Sure, I always find Tom Robinson’s trial riveting, and the mystery of Boo Radley constantly intrigues me — and that will never change. However, I am at the stage of my life where children may be in my near future. When I read To Kill a Mockingbird now, I want to be a father like Atticus Finch. He never has a bad word to say about anyone and leads by example. It’s easy to talk a good game, but his actions show that he is a compassionate, caring and conscientious person. He also has a fantastic relationship with his children, Scout and Jem, and treats them with respect.

If you somehow haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird, go to the library (if there are copies not already checked-out) or bookstore immediately. If you haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird recently, it is worth reading the novel again. To Kill a Mockingbird is truly a great American novel that remains relevant today.

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