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To Kill a Mockingbird


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Product ID: 228156

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  • "When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.... When enough years had gone by to
    enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells
    started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer
    Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out." Set in the small Southern town of
    Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout
    Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus--three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young
    black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through
    the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up.

    Like the slow-moving occupants of her fictional town, Lee takes her time getting to the heart of her tale; we first
    meet the Finches the summer before Scout's first year at school. She, her brother, and Dill Harris, a boy who spends the
    summers with his aunt in Maycomb, while away the hours reenacting scenes from Dracula and plotting ways to get a peek at
    the town bogeyman, Boo Radley. At first the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape of Mayella Ewell, the daughter of
    a drunk and violent white farmer, barely penetrate the children's consciousness. Then Atticus is called on to defend the
    accused, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout and Jem find themselves caught up in events beyond their understanding. During the
    trial, the town exhibits its ugly side, but Lee offers plenty of counterbalance as well--in the struggle of an elderly
    woman to overcome her morphine habit before she dies; in the heroism of Atticus Finch, standing up for what he knows is
    right; and finally in Scout's hard-won understanding that most people are essentially kind "when you really see them."
    By turns funny, wise, and heartbreaking, To Kill a Mockingbird is one classic that continues to speak to new
    generations, and deserves to be reread often. --Alix Wilber

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