To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
It seems like most people I know got a chance to read this book in high school. It wasn't required reading for me in high school so it took me a while to get around to reading it. I'm glad I did and I'm sure I'll read it again later in my life.
Everyone knows this story is of a sleepy town in Alabama during the Great Depression. It focuses on the Finch family, with lawyer father Atticus, son Jem, and daughter Scout. The two kids have an innocent and somewhat naive view of the world, which starts to change when Atticus is told to represent Tom Robinson, a black man charged with raping a white teenager. These were the days of strong racial prejudice and while Atticus doesn't worry about himself, he does worry about what his kids will have to endear during and after the trial. It's a story of growing up and good vs. evil.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I really took to each member of the Finch family and felt that Atticus Finch was one of the most enjoyable fathers to read about in literature. The life lessons he wanted to impart on his children were so simple and yet so essential. He was a true advocate for justice and made sure to act in such a way that he could come home and face his kids, proud of what he had done. The two children were just as endearing; Jem always protecting and teaching his sister, Scout always having innocent inquiries and trying to do good by her family.
First Line: "When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow."