It has come to my attention that it is currently the month of February, which means that it’s time for another delightfully inaccurate book review! This month, I’d like to talk to you about Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird.
To Kill A Mockingbird follows the adventures of young Scout, her brother, and their neighbour over the course of one summer in their childhood. Left to their own devices for long stretches of time, they make their own entertainment by teaching themselves how to hunt and shoot.
Soon, their self-taught skills gain them acceptance and “adoption” by the local Hunting Club, composed otherwise of middle-aged men. Scout’s precocious observations and keen trigger finger make her a favourite at the Club, as she quickly moves from clay pigeons to real ones, then to bringing down larger game such as hawks, falcons, and even a penguin.
The final test to become a full member of the Hunting Club is to bag a mockingbird, and Scout is determined to be the youngest person ever to reach this accomplishment. But when she and her friends find that the bird’s words are not merely the sign of a good mimic, but evidence that it thinks and feels in its own right, all her beliefs are called into question. She no longer is certain of the right thing to do. Will Scout ultimately bring herself to kill the mockingbird?
To Kill a Mockingbird is a scintillating look into the human psyche, with plenty to delight and captivate the ornithologists among us. I recommend this book to anyone interested in legal procedurals, moral dilemmae, and hunting.