Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mocking Bird” turns 50

“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.” – Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird

I clearly remember 8th grade reading assignments being anything but interesting, until “To Kill a Mockingbird” was assigned. Even for our developing minds, the narrative and deep set humanity of the book touched us, or at least I can say it touched me. Recently, I decided to look for my old copy and was saddened by its disappearance. So I sit here, typing, looking at the copy I picked up at the used book store with a strange cover I’ve never seen.There is something nostalgic for me about the cover I stared at wondering about whild trying to pay attention in english class(shown above.)  And maybe someday, I’ll find my old, whethered and much loved copy.

Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, AL in 1926. She was the youngest of 4 and childhood friends with Truman Capote, whom she later helped write In Cold Blood. She attended Alabama University and studied law, but dropped out 6 months early to pursue a literary career.

In 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird was published. It was a momentous success and within a year, it had been translated into 10 languages. In 1961 it won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. I 1962, it was adapted to the screen, causing its popularity to grow to new heights.

The themes will remain in our hearts until we can no longer identify with what it feels like for a child to experience injustice. I hope you pick it up again. It’s worth it.