Saturday, September 14, 2013

31: To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

"Before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

"Scout," said Atticus, "nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don't mean anything - like snot-nose. It's hard to explain - ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody's favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It's slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody." 
"You aren't really a nigger-lover, then, are you?"
"I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody."

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand."

"He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad."

I haven't read To Kill a Mockingbird since I was in middle school, and I was either an unevolved middle schooler or middle schoolers as a whole are just too unevolved to appreciate the book. I didn't have any particularly fond memories of the book and thus it was the last that I read on my list of books for my upcoming classes. 

I don't know what else to say besides: every moment of this book was pure magic. Scout made me laugh, the town made me cry, and Atticus Finch made me a better person. This is the kind of book that makes you a better person after you read it.

It has definitely become one of my favorite books of all time which doesn't happen very often these days. I am very much looking forward to teaching it. I'm actually looking forward to reading it again, but I know how teaching a book over and over can ruin the magic a little bit, so I am refraining as I have four freshmen classes to teach it to this year.

If you haven't read it, or haven't read it in a while, you absolutely must. It is that good. I promise. 

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