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 To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

"Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird begins at the end. The novel opens with the adult Jean Louise 'Scout' Finch writing, 'When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.' By the time Jem finally gets around to breaking his arm more than 250 pages later most readers will have forgotten they were ever warned. This echoes the way the whole book unfolds-in no special hurry, with lifelike indirection. Nothing happens all by itself. The book's two plots inch forward along parallel tracks, only converging near the end.

"The first plot revolves around Arthur 'Boo' Radley, who lives in a shuttered house down the street from the Finches and is rumored to be some kind of monster. The second story concerns Scout and Jem's father, the attorney Atticus Finch.

"Tying the stories together is a simple but profound piece of advice Atticus gives Scout: 'You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.'" -- From the NEA Big Read website

NEA Bog ReadSonoma County Reads!To Kill a Mockingbird is the 2008 The Big Read / Sonoma County Reads! selection.
This event is part of The Big Read,
an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts
in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.