Skip to main content

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

Book: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee

I recently read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee for school and I decided to do a book review on it. So here's a quick description of the story, in case you haven't heard much about it:

  Living in a small town called Maycomb and experiencing the fun of summer and the sufferings of school, a young girl named Scout Finch watches her father Atticus Finch, an attorney, risking everything - his job, reputation and even his life - to prove the innocence of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of a crime he didn't commit. 

The characters - Atticus Finch, Scout Finch, Jem Finch and Calpurnia, as well as others - were well-rounded and had a sense of reality to them that I know as a writer I struggle to create. They spoke, acted and thought like one would think them to, but not in an overdone or annoying way.

I loved the perspective on the story that it had. Written in light of the events of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, it has an interesting and unique perspective on the events of Tom Robinson's case.

The whole novel is set in a small town called Maycomb in Alabama in the 30'sAs Scout struggles to decide what's right and wrong, who is right and who is wrong, and whether some people actually are better than others, the reader can feel the inward battles that a young girl - around eight by the time the book ends, I think - faces in a small town that is set in its ways.

If I understand correctly, this book is under a lot of heat and has been taken off the 8th Grade reading list in the U.S.A. It offended people because of the use of the "N" word. However, I didn't think this should be a reason to take it off the reading list. Yes, it was uncomfortable for me to read it - but it was also true to the times, and I think that even if at the time it was written this word was completely acceptable, it was still meant to make the reader feel uncomfortable. The thought of people judging others and persecuting them based on the color of their skin isn't meant to be comfortable. Because it's not okay. It's something that should never be comfortable, and To Kill a Mockingbird got that point across very well in my mind.

So, yes, there is some language in the story. That one in particular is used more than is comfortable for the reader, but I think it's a necessary part of the story. There are also occurrences of other language, and because Tom Robinson is accused of rape, I wouldn't necessarily suggest it for young readers. However, I enjoyed it and found it educational. I also found Atticus Finch to be an inspiring character - and I'm pretty sure that many other people who have read the novel agree with me on that one.

The story felt real, and I felt like I was a part of the world. I thoroughly enjoyed the read, although it seemed to be pretty long, mainly because it is a classic, so it isn't as fast-paced as novels today tend to be. Also, since the story world is set in a small town in the United States, it feels like small town life - not necessarily exciting and fast paced at first, or sometimes at all. Nevertheless, it was a great read, and I encourage you to read it, too!

I give To Kill a Mockingbird a four-and-a-half star review

Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? Did you like it? If so, why? If you didn't like it, are there any particular reasons why you didn't? Tell me in the comments below, or on my Facebook page Julia Witmer, Author!


Popular posts from this blog

Things I've Learned from Watching My Mom and Dad

I've learned a lot from watching my Mom and Dad's marriage. It's led me to know what I want to look for in a marriage, eventually, when I'm older, if I ever DO get married. Their marriage helps me know what a marriage is really about, and I couldn't thank them more for that.

You see, a lot of girls my age dream about marrying the perfect guy. Living in the perfect house. Having a lot of money and clothes and having a happy family and good, stable jobs. I'm not saying that that's a bad thing, but I think it's a bit unrealistic. It's not impossible, I suppose (other than the perfect guy, thing. Nobody's perfect! *Hannah Montana song now stuck in my head forever*), but in order to have all those things, you need to have a few others.

So, here's what I want for my future, if I ever get married.

Jesus. Not every marriage has Jesus, and a lot of them do okay without Him. But it's a lot harder, I think. Without Jesus, who do you have as your role …

Grace's Corner of the World: Why I Don't Write About MK Life

For those of you who don’t know, I am an MK (missionary kid). People tend to enjoy reading my posts about my life as a missionary, and are confused when I don’t write about that. After all – I’m a missionary! Why shouldn’t I write about my thrilling life living in a tropical climate spreading the word of Jesus? There’s only one answer for that, really: It’s not thrilling. Believe it or not, my life is no more exciting than yours. I spend my days doing school and trying not to die of the heat. Don’t believe me? I’ll give you a quick run-down of my day today. 1.Manage to get out of my bed and go downstairs; hopefully pretend to be awake enough to eat breakfast 2.Eat cereal and do devotions with family 3.Do some school 4.Take a nap 5.Do more school 6.Eat lunch 7.More school 8.Hide in my room some Wasn’t that just exciting? The thrilling life of an MK, right? Honestly, I’m here because God told me to come and support Dad as he spreads God’s word. I’m not doing any “missionarying,” I’m hanging out wi…

Grace's Corner of the World: How, Lord?

The world seems much nicer at first glance than it does when you look deeper into it.
   It looks like a fairy tale when you first see it. It feels welcoming and loving when you're a child, and then the older you get the more you recognize the evil that inhabits it.    When I visited Thailand on our vision trip, I saw that evil for the first time in my life. I was around eleven.    I remember walking into the Buddhist temple, having left my shoes outside as they were not allowed to be worn indoors. I walked quietly over the cold marble floor through the dark room and lowered myself to the ground, looking around me in awe. I came as a tourist, but others came to worship.    What did they worship?    A green statue. The Emerald Buddha, it's called. All around me Thai people bowed low to the floor as medieval peasants would in front of a king, their hands palm-down on the floor in front of them in worship of an inanimate object that couldn't help them with any of their troubles or…