Who reads the classics anymore? Teens - that's who. Check out this review from one of our Teen Advisory Council volunteers and see if it inspires you to dust off that classic reading list.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a widely regarded as one of the greatest novels ever written, and has introduced complex social issues to countless readers since its release in 1960. The book follows two major plotlines. Scout - the narrator and young daughter of a southern lawyer - along with her brother Jem and friend Dill, attempt to get a sighting of the local recluse. Boo Radley is likely underdeveloped mentally and is the victim of vicious rumors as a result. As the story continues and the kids learn more about Boo and interact with him, they learn that you cannot always judge a book by its cover. The kids learn the value of sympathy for others and viewing a situation from different perspectives.
The other plotline is that of Scout's father Atticus. Atticus decides to take on the case of Tom Robinson, a young black man who is falsely accused of rape by a white woman. As the truth of the case unfolds during the trial, Harper Lee explores the culture of racism, hatred and division in the South. The cruelty and hatred of Robinson by the white town residents is starkly contrasted by Scout and Jem’s innocence and hopefulness. To Kill a Mockingbird serves as a strong condemnation of racism in the South and the novel presents a sense of hope that there are still good people in the world, even in a sea of injustice. To Kill a Mockingbird is an intriguing and compelling story that exhibits important themes of acceptance, sympathy and anti-racism. The novel is perfect for young adults who want to read a compelling story that will both shock and educate on social issues that are still relevant today. - Cameron (Sunset Teen Advisory Council)