I am obsessed with To Kill a Mockingbird. I first saw the movie in college. I had never heard of it, and my room mate, who had read the book in high school, took me to a showing in the Commons area at Union University. I was hooked. A few years later when I started teaching high school, I read it for the first time with my class. I have continued doing so for around twenty- three years now. Since I teach the block schedule, that means I probably hold the record for how many times a person can read this book. I can quote you lines. So here we go To Kill a Mockingbird fans: the top ten reasons I am obsessed.
1. I love books set in the South. Ain’t nobody else like us, Jim-Bob.
2. I too had an older brother who wanted me to go away. I wore many of his hand me downs when it came to what my mom would call “play clothes” and I still prefer so many different types of men’s shirts.
3. We had our own version of the Mrs. Dubose in our neighborhood. They once shot my brother’s dog, not seriously though because I believe it was with a bb gun. They scared me. No, they terrified me.
4. I too distinctly remember rolling in a metal barrel down a hill when I was in kindergarten. Scout rolled in a tire which is a much better idea. That must have been a painful experience.
5. Scout and me both didn’t get along with school too well at first. I wasn’t a fighter, but I did get taken to the office in the first grade. I won’t go into the tragic details, but dirt clods and being in the wrong place at the wrong time were involved. This legacy followed me throughout my educational years. There was an incident my Senior year of high school and a few in college. I will not go into that any further. Some of you who went to college with me know what happened. Confess: you were with me. I was never a trouble maker, though. Just a tad mischievous.
6. It is reported that Harper Lee threw her original manuscript out of her New York apartment window because she felt it was awful. I did that also with a Daniel bible study that I have written because I was so convinced that it was horrible.
8. I love that this book makes me laugh, cry and makes us all very angry. There are so many truths of life in this book.
9. It teaches great lessons. I have used it for years in my classroom to explore many different topics that are some of life’s greatest lessons.
10. I love that my students read it. Many will say it is the first or only book they have ever read. I love that I can’t get them to put it down. I love that I have to number my books to keep them from sneaking books out of the room. I I love that as they are reading it silently, I will hear, “No!!” or other natural reactions to this book. I love that I have seen them in tears. These are real, live non honors high school students. Surprising, isn’t it?
I want you to read it if you never have. Harper Lee’s one other book that she has ever written will be coming out this Summer and I cannot wait. This makes it a perfect time to read it.
I can’t wait. Have I mentioned that I am obsessed?