This heart-wrenching, coming-of-age tale set in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, served as the basis of an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country.
As the self-proclaimed reader of banned books, I am often asked to name my favorite banned book and explain why I love it so. Longtime readers of this blog know that Harper Lee’s coming of age novel To Kill a Mockingbird has impacted me not only as a woman, a parent, and an educator but more so as a human being. Lee’s powerful words resonate with me each time I read the novel and long afterward. I learned as many lessons about courage, compassion, and self-awareness from Atticus Finch as his children Jem and Scout did.
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.
This simple yet crucial bit of advice should govern all of our lives. I try to live my life by taking time to see things from every perspective. We all struggle with trying to live with sympathy and understanding toward others. If you have never read To Kill a Mockingbird, there is no better time than the present. It is a timeless reminder that tolerance and compassion for all is just as clear today as it was 50 years ago.
Thank you, Miss Nelle Harper Lee, for enriching our lives.