Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books. We choose a book we remember fondly and recommend to our adoring readers to add to their To Read Pile. Plus, we get to link up and all give our fellow bloggers some comment love. Win-Win! This week, and for several weeks following, I am going to test my hypothesis about required reading for high school English, and it is this:
If you go back and read it as an adult, you will probably like it.
I encourage you to return to the classroom with fresh eyes and read the classics for the pure joy of reading. You might actually like the novel without having to think about the homework.
I’m going to start this series of throwbacks with my favorite book ever to read or teach – To Kill a Mockingbird.
Harper Lee’s masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird (often heard by my students as Tequila Mockingbird – what is with that?) opens up the world of Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930s through the eyes of a beloved narrator, Jean Louise Finch. We all call her Scout. The novel seamlessly ties together the hilarious childhood antics of Scout, her brother Jem, and their neighbor Dill with the highly-charged racial tensions in the American South, played out in the town streets, church society meetings, the school yard, a small town courtroom, and finally Scout’s own neighborhood. Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, one of the greatest heroes in all literature, shows his children how to “climb in a man’s skin and walk around in it,” and everyone is better for it. The novel bursts with character and charm. Harper Lee captures the nuances of speech and mannerisms in each of her characters, revealing their courage, weakness, and humanity. It’s simply a beautiful, beautiful book. If you hated this book as a high school student, please give it another shot (not of tequila).