I’m assuming you read it more than once. Pretty much everybody I know has. To Kill a Mockingbird is now fifty years old. I was ten or eleven when I read it for the first time, and I loved it so much I can still tell you exactly what I wore (plaid pedal pushers) and ate (orange double popsicles), what the air felt like around me (hot) and the glimmer of the flashlight losing battery power as I stayed up extra late to finish. I remember staring at the tree on the cover and trying to picture the characters. I loved Scout. She talked and thought like me, and Atticus reminded me of my dad. I had never heard of rape before, and didn’t realize it was sexual until years later. Racial prejudice did not exist in my town in upstate New York, so it all seemed very exotic and tense to me. But Scout felt so real to me. I’ve read this book several times through the years, and there’s always something new to discover.

mockingbirdfirst.jpg harper_lee_0821.jpg (photo: www.time.com)
It was the only novel she ever published. A tough act to follow. She dedicated her life to books and education, and now lives in New York City and Monroeville, Alabama. I think the only person who has her number is Oprah.

Here is the summary from Writers’ Almanac: