Would you believe me if I told you that I was 33 the first time I ever read To Kill a Mockingbird? I don't know how I made it into my thirties without picking it up before.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a quiet southern story about a single father and his two children. It's about growing up. Learning how the world works. Standing up for yourself, and your friends, and your neighbors. It's about believing in what's right, and not following the crowd.
Today is the 50th anniversary of it's release, and Harper Collins would like you to celebrate by tweeting how the novel affected you to #TKAM.
Having read it as late in life as I did, I feel I missed out on the true experience of TKAM. Having heard about it all of my life, there was this sort of untouchable quality to it, this pre-heightened expectation that frightened me.
Finally reading it, I found myself lost in this coming of age story buried in the deep south, where things are not quite as we know them to be now. In one aspect, I found myself getting angry over all the cruel treatment and yet in another, I was enjoying the innocence of youth.
There is this breathless quality Harper Lee infused into her young characters, the life and energy and deviance, that everyone should experience at least once. If you haven't read it, what better time to pick it up and get started? If you have read it, fancy a re-read? Or how about a listen? Harper Collins has a link to an audio version of TKAM - check it out.