Books We Can’t Quit: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee


Harper Collins Publishers

336 pages, $25.99


Review by Amanda K. Jaros


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a book that has never gone out of print, is a particularly relevant story right now. This year, the book marks its 55th anniversary and is being celebrated in concurrence with the publication of Lee’s second book, Go Set a Watchman. Despite this much-anticipated release, I find Mockingbird significant today not so much because of Watchman, or the fact that it continues to be a staple of high school English classes, but rather, because every time I turn on the news I see stories of prejudice as our society continues its struggle for racial, sexual orientation and gender equality. Though Mockingbird was first published in 1960, in many ways it could have been written last week.

The story revolves around Scout Finch, an eight-year-old tomboy who spends her summers playing outside with her older brother Jem and their friend, Dill. The three play-act scenes of the townspeople’s quirky habits, they sneak out at night to lurk the neighborhood, and they are obsessed with their reclusive, and unseen, neighbor, Boo Radley. Radley is a phantom of speculation who inspires both fear and fascination in Scout. Continue reading