30 Days of Books – Day 2

A book I’ve read more than three times?

Easy.

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

I have read three paperback copies of this book to death. Now I’m holding out for Barnes and Noble’s pretty green leatherbound version as a replacement. This book makes me terribly melancholy, but I’m the type of person who enjoys feeling that way every once in awhile. Its characters are acutely observed: from Dolphus Raymond to Atticus Finch, Mayella Ewell to Boo Radley. The novel’s voice clear and engaging. It is absolutely my kind of book.

The number-one complaint I hear from the high school students I work with is that this book is “racist”. What an excuse. They see that n-word and their brains turn off, thinking they have a surefire inarguable excuse not to read it. Instead they get to spend an hour arguing their point with me. By the end of the hour, most of them go home and read it, and a good number have come back to me later to tell me how much they enjoyed it. What a surprise!

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