Harper Lee author of To Kill a Mockingbird died on Friday at the age of 89. When she published To Kill a Mockingbird it became an instant Modern American Classic. In mid-July 2015, her second novel Go Set a Watchman was published.
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
My first experience with Harper Lee was when we read it in high school English class. While I couldn’t relate to many of the events that Scout recounts I was able to relate to her character trying to figure out the adult world from her perspective as a child. Another part of the book that stuck out to me was Atticus Finch and his quest for justice. His wisdom in guiding Scout & Jem (his two children) is a moral standard that many could live up to. In the novel, he shares his thoughts with Jem on courage. Atticus tells Jem that courage is “when you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what”.
The lessons in this novel are just as relevant to us today as they were in the 50s when the novel was published. If you have yet to read this novel pick it up today and get to know this classic 20th century author.