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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it..”

— Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    Remember that book that comes to mind when you’re asked what you were forced to read during school? To Kill a Mockingbird would be mine. While required reading doing our education always seem horrible, the silver lining remains in everyone’s personal reading experience. It’s that ride that never seems to be identical from one person to another that makes every book a snowflake. As much as I’d love to keep the rant within me, I can’t help myself but to share a little story that has held me—and probably a hundred others—from being able to appreciate some of the most finest pieces of literature in the world at a younger age.

    Being in a French education system, my English literature classes were quite peculiar. Our course syllabus’ were frivolous—to say the least—and I can’t even recall a single book that anyone wanted to take seriously. Among a couple of these books (there was probably less than five), Harper Lee’s classic is one reading experience that I’ll never forget. This book was required reading for one of our high school English literature courses, but it wasn’t the typical kind of “mandatory”. Our teacher had a copy for each of one us, and that copy was to stay inside the confines of our classroom.

    Now, you might wonder how we managed to read through that book under such circumstances. Well, we didn’t. This teacher thought that making some students read the book out loud (alternating between students as little as possible, of course) would make this classic memorable. She thoroughly believed that this tactic would help us appreciate the story at hand even more, especially by stopping every few minutes to dissect a sentence. She was half right. We sure as hell did not forget about the book, especially how we never got through 50 pages of it. In fact, I remember having absolutely forgotten about the book and having never wondered about its impact in the world of literature.

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    I still hope to this day that this teacher has not bestoyed upon more students such an ugly fate for such a magnificent masterpice. To Kill a Mockingbird is not a novel to be ridiculed in such a fashion. Even required reading can be thoroughly enjoyed when presented properly. If you ask me, Harper Lee’s novel is one novel that every single person in the world should crack open and discover, whether its for school or not. It holds the dearest coming-of-age story of Jean Louise ‘Scout’ Finch and the most powerful and righteous story of Atticus Finch. To Kill a Mockingbird explores the many faces of hate, the courage to stand tall and fight in what you believe and the role of empathy in a world that desperately finds ways to reach new lows.

    And so, what is To Kill a Mockingbird about? The story is told through the eyes of little Jean Louise, also known as Scout. She lives with her brother Jem and her father Atticus Finch. Atticus Finch is a reknown lawyer in the heart of Alabama, down in the South, and has quite the godly reputation among the people. It’s only until he gets the one in a million case to defend a person of color that the whole town is consciously shook and troubled. Scout, being young and innocent, has yet the experience to understand what is going around, but her constant meddling into her father’s affairs puts her on a path of understanding and discovering. The story also integrates the story of Boo Radley, a mysterious and secluded man, that no one seems to understand. Set in a small-town where everyone knows the names of each other, To Kill a Mockingbird presents us with a tragically beautiful tale of racism and prejudice, of growing up and understanding, and of doing the right thing.

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    The character development is exquisite in this novel. There’s nothing like watching a character evolve through various experiences and learning life lessons in their full integrity. It’s in seeing these individuals become someone genuinely different as life comes down knocking hard with all of its horrible, and sometimes wonderful surprises, that makes readers gaze through their windows in awe. The most satisfying part of these growths is being able to see it in a child. How children digest these events and learn from them is beyond beautiful. It’s in watching their innocence being molded into something substantially different that our deepest feelings are single-handedly evoked. This ability to build characters so authentic is something seldom succeeded by authors, but Harper Lee does it sensationally.

    An element that I loved most of this novel is how Scout basically sees the world as Atticus Finch sees the court. Her father is a man with strong convictions and when it is time for him to stand up in front of the court and do the impossible, only a refreshing hope-in-humanity tingling feeling is felt throughout the body. His perseverance to stand tall and strong for what he believes in, even when he knows before the fight had even begun that the odds weren’t in his favor, is a phenomenonal moment and big highlight in this story. It’s when he explains his perception of the court that I saw a strong ressemblance to how innocent children see the world, and that made me embrace this book even more. Scout’s unbiased analysis and interpretation of everything in life is exactly what the world needs. Although innocence is something that can easily be lost—a theme that is very strong in this book—this way of seeing life is fundamental and necessary.

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    There’s so much that can be said about this classic, but there’s only one way to truly admire its beauty: reading it. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those novels that I can easily mention as a must-read by absolutely anyone and everyone. It is timeless and vibrant, no matter your interests in life. The lessons that are delivered resonate strongly and, frankly, deserves to be spread profusely throughout the world. It’s not easy to land on an author with such a unique writing style, an author who was able to build such a heart-warming story where the good in the world is put to the test. This story is without a doubt a quintessential read that will push people to look beyond the hate that engulfs humanity and seek justice for the things we believe in. It’s safe to say that To Kill a Mockingbird is a great reminder of why  literature is such a vital part of our lives.


To Kill a Mockingbird was also adapted as a movie in 1962 with Gregory Peck portraying the great Atticus Finch. There’s nothing like a blast from the past when you’re in front of a black and white movie! Have you seen this critically acclaimed masterpiece?

Did you read To Kill a Mockingbird yet though? What did you think about it?
You haven’t read it, you say?
How about you read this story for yourself!
You can purchase your copy @Amazon Canada or @Chapters Indigo !
Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below and follow us so you don’t miss anymore of our reviews!

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★/

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 11.24.49 PM

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34 thoughts on “To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    • Transhaan says:

      Hahhahahh No worries!! There’s always time to rectify that whenever you feel ready! 😛 I haven’t read it till this year in September, that’s a pretty long time if you ask me!

      – Lashaan

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  1. mybookinggreatblog says:

    We were also required to read this in our English Literature class (in the U.K.) however at least we were allowed to read it in our own time and then we’re to discuss certain aspects of the book (e.g. the rule of law, Finch and the writing style). I loved this book although I am yet to read Go Set A Watchman because this is one of those books I cannot imagine a prequel to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      That’s exactly how required reading normally should go! We should all have the ability to read it on our own before discussing and exploring the various ideas in the book. I’m glad you had the chance to thoroughly enjoy it.

      I have yet to read Go Set a Watchman as well, but I hear people say that it’s neither a prequel or a sequel, but more of a spin-off. Something that is it’s own story. I’m definitely going to give it a shot and see what it’s all about. 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      Seems to confirm how the book is probably ranked #1 as required reading around the world. Glad to hear that it has yet to disappoint anyone.

      Although the movie is a classic and has won its fair share of awards, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea in this time and age. Hope she’ll enjoy it if she ever finds interest in seeing it (if she hasn’t seen it of course).

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ruzaikadeen14 says:

    Way to make people detest reading a book- I hated it when we had to read out loud in class, mostly because I always end up reading whatever books we have for required reading even before the start of the school year 😛 However, I’ve never read this highly, highly, highly recommended book yet… *hides in shame* I will, though. Soon. I’ve heard not many people like the sequel, though. I’d love to know what you think of it when you do get around to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      I know, right? It’s crazy that we had to go through such an ordeal for that book in particular. It could’ve been a life-changer if we had had the chance to properly enjoy it.

      No shame in that, at all! After all, better late than never! I’m glad to hear that you still plan on checking it out though, it’s definitely worth having flipped through at least once in a lifetime.

      I do plan on checking out the sequel, and I did hear some ups and downs about it. I’m really curious about what the story is about too. I will share my shares about it as soon as it becomes my next book to read. 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Chris Evans says:

    Loved the film but never thought about reading the book and your review makes me want to add it to the ‘must read’ list immediately!

    Not one we had to read in my school years – that was Of Mice and Men and An Inspector Calls, with a healthy dose of Shakespeare!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      Wahhh, you’re definitely the first person to tell me that they’ve seen THIS movie before checking out the book. That’s quite interesting. The book is definitely a must-read, just like Of Mice and Men (which… I have yet to read, but is already in my pile). I’ve only seen a couple of Shakespeare’s works, and now I wonder if I should check out some more/revisit. They are classics for a reason after all! 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  4. healed1337 says:

    I remember reading the book and watching the film in high school. To be honest I forget which year, but I remember it being a simple yet brilliant story. I probably should read it again some time.

    Have you read it’s sequel that came out last year, Go Set a Watchman (originally To Kill a Mockingbird’s first draft)? It’s kind of fascinating how far apart Harper Lee’s only two books released. I’m curious, but I should probably re-read the original first.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      Wahhh, didn’t know it was TKaM’s first draft. That’s news to me. I have yet to read Go Set a Watchman, but I’m definitely looking forward to it. I heard that it had some controversial things in it, and that has me pumped to check out what it might have in store for us. I also heard that it’s best to see Go Set a Watchman as its own story and not some sort of sequel or prequel. I guess a re-read of the classic would definitely be a good idea before jumping into Harper Lee’s last book.

      – Lashaan

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  5. Donna says:

    Another poor student of the French education system. I feel your pain! 😂 J’en garde des cicatrices! I also had teachers who believed making us read out loud entire books would be a good idea. I’d like to know what was in the bottle on her desk, probably not water!!! That’s a terrible idea.
    To Kill a Mockingbird is among the titles that I won’t read simply because it’s considered a classic and pushed on us by every teacher. But your review made me think twice about it and I’ve added the book to my 2017 reading list. it feels better to decide to read it because of a review rather than because a wrinkled know-it-all face yells at you to read it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Transhaan says:

      Come to think of it, I have yet run into anyone who’s been through the French education system and had a splendid experience when it came to English literature. De meilleurs cours de littérature anglophone ne feraient mal à personne! Honestly, that particular English teacher was a horrible teacher. Pretty discriminatory and had no actual clue what she was doing… I really do wonder what exactly they drink/take/smoke (pretty sure there’s a drug involved) everyday.

      It is quite unfortunate that…lame… teachers were able to keep us away from some amazing pieces of literature like To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m really happy to hear that you’ve reconsidered that and plan on checking it out some day. I can assure you that the moment I picked up the copy, I was absorbed by an irremediable hate towards the teacher who ruined my first experience of it. I’m glad to have been able to enjoy it personally and not let the teacher keep me from enjoying a masterpiece. Hope your enjoy To Kill a Mockingbird when you get around to it! 🙂

      – Lashaan

      Like

  6. JJAzar says:

    So sad your Lit teacher deprived you of what should have been a great experience. Thankfully you read it nonetheless! I agree with your take on the book. It is indeed a fascinating, important, resonant read. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. TheAliceFan says:

    Yeah, I have heard a lot about it. Still, I still haven’t read them, so I would like to ask one thing if that is okay… Do I need any background knowledge, like the understanding the historical context or something before reading them?

    Liked by 1 person

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