07 November 2008

200-word review: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee

It seems appropriate that I finished this book the same day that we heard in the UK that America had elected its first black President. If anyone doesn’t see the importance of Barack Obama’s rise to power, they should read this book to see how far the nation has come.

This book sits uncomfortably with the usual age categories prescribed to fiction; it is narrated by a little girl so on the surface appears to be a children’s book, but the material is far darker than most children would be allowed to read. So why does Harper Lee choose to tell her story through a child? The answer becomes apparent throughout the novel – in a 1930’s American town full of hypocrisy and prejudice, only the children have minds pure enough to see injustice for what it is. The narrative also lends the story a ‘morality tale’ feeling, without it becoming preachy or self-righteous.

This novel has become one of my favourites already, and one I will definitely be lending to my future children when they’re old enough to appreciate it. I really recommend it to anyone who wants to understand American history better, or who just like a good story.

**P.S. Sorry for the lack of picture, I couldn't find one to match the edition I read**

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