Jean Louise (Scout), a 8 year old, and Jem, a 12 year old, are children of Atticus - a lawyer in a small town in Alabama. The story is told from the point of view of Scout, which in itself is quite unusual. I guess it's not at all simple to "get into the shoes" of a 8 year old girl, and the author does it brilliantly (actually, I just discovered, after reading the book, that the author is a female, which probably makes it a little easier).

"To kill a Mockingbird" is a beautiful story with a lot to learn from, so it's not surprising that it's one of the required books in literature classes, even in school. The book deals with racism, class, growing up of children and the complex interactions between children and adults during adolescence. But most of all, I think, it tries to touch upon what's right and what's wrong, and it does so in a very unusual manner. The reader lears about values and "life" as if he's a child learning it, from inside Scout. It's difficult to describe but reading this book gives a very unique feeling of a child learning about the truths of life, in an accelerated pace.

While the other topics the books spends time on are not new in books, the theme of growing children and how children perceive the world is quite novel for me. It was very interesting to look into Scout's and Jem's thoughts. Maybe it's just me, but either these two are extremely bright children, or I'm just way down-estimating children's abilities (my wife once told me so, hmm....) I think I even learned something about how to treat my own children, once they'll come to existence and reach that age.

All in all, I profoundly enjoyed this book. It is highly recommended.


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