My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A great book from the perspective of an adult looking back through her five year old self at her family relationships, the small-minded town she lived in and a court case about a black man accused of raping a white woman in 1930s America in the deep South. Scout and her brother Jem are brought up by their father Atticus Finch, a lawyer. He teaches Scout to read and write by using his law books and newspapers and she finds herself far too advanced when she starts school which creates challenges for her with her teacher! Scout is a tomboy who loves to use her fists to deal with disagreements and her ever patient father tries to encourage her to be less hot-headed and more aware of others. She turns up in the middle of a mob of townsmen when they are about to attack her father for representing the black man accused of rape and not automatically supporting the white woman. Scout has no idea about the situation she’s walked into and wonders why one of the mob men isn’t greeting her, when his son had come to lunch at their house. Her innocent bewilderment saves her father and diffuses the anger and tension in the situation. Then there is Boo Radley their reclusive next door neighbour who the children have never seen and who they try to draw out and invent games about as a scary character that haunts the area. It’s a fascinating view of 1930s colour segregation, small-town mentality and relationships through the eyes of a child.