Recently I reread To Kill a Mockingbird. It had been at least fifteen years since I'd picked it up, having taught it to high school sophomores. Though I know it is regarded as far above most American literature and considered by some the greatest American novel of the 20th century, I still found myself in awe of what Harper Lee managed to do. The book is enduring in the truest sense of the word. I could go on and on about how wonderful it is, but, if you've ever read it, you know.
Instead, I'd like to say that I think the real tragedy of the book is that people read it when they are so young. The novel is required reading in many American schools, usually in high school (though I know some 7th graders who are reading it now). The impressions that it makes on a young person are notable, despite our ever-evolving society; however, the true impact of the book, I believe, cannot be felt until one is far beyond high school, deep into the comfort of their belief system. I could say that I agree it should be required reading in every school in America (and I do), but I think it's more important to say that I believe it should be required reading for everyone over the age of 35 as well.
Whether it's perspective or hindsight or just plain life, anyone who hasn't read the book as an adult is missing out. The same goes for the writing. If you're only going to write one book in your life, well, this would pretty much be it.
Causes Katherine McWilliams Supports
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation jdrf.org Macula Vision Research Foundation mvrf.org Washington Office on Latin America wola.org/juarez