by Harper Lee
When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness' sake. But don't make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em.
My oldest daughter and I just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm sure I read this in high school or college, and I remembered the general storyline, but I did not remember it being such a compelling read. It is a great read-aloud book. The prose are lyrical and you can't help but adopt a southern accent as you read along.
I don't usually give a lot of thought to what is considered "classic" or not in literature, but this is a book that certainly deserves the title. It takes a reader directly to 1930s Alabama and, being narrated from a free-thinking child's point of view, it leaves you with a strong impression of time and place.
It's one of those books that opened my eyes a bit, and generated quite a bit of conversation outside the book. I think my favorite part is toward the end of the trial of Tom Robinson, Atticus's closing remarks and the talks he has with his kids afterward.
If you had been on that jury, son, and eleven other boys like
you, Tom would be a free man... So far nothing in your life has interefered with your reasoning process. Those are twelve reasonable men in everyday life, Tom's jury, but you saw something come between them and reason.~Atticus Finch
Great book. I highly recommend picking it up to read again, or for the first time if you managed to avoid it as an assignment in school as a kid.