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To Kill A Mockingbird

Published in 1960, this American classic by Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

*Reviewed by Stef Shackley of Rotherham and District Federation*

This book is told from the perspective of six-year-old Scout. Her mother died when she was two and she is brought up by her father, Atticus, a lawyer, and her older brother, Jem.  It is set in 1935 in Mayfield County, Alabama, where everyone knows everyone, and the descriptions of families and neighbours give a clear insight into the society of the time.

Scout and Jem have not seen their neighbour, Boo Radley, for years and, scared to pass his house, invent games to get him to come out. This entertains them until Atticus is called upon to defend Tom Robinson, a black man, for the alleged rape of a white woman.

As people take sides, the children witness the tensions and racial inequalities of their community and try to reconcile what they are seeing with Atticus teaching them to love and tolerate others.  Things come to a dramatic conclusion after the school Halloween Pageant when we finally get to meet Boo.

Written with warmth and humour, this book's message is still very relevant today.

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