by Harper Lee
Scout and Jem Fitch live in Maycomb, Alabama in 1935. They are being raised by their father, Atticus, a lawyer, with the help of Calpurnia, an African-American lady. One summer, Atticus is assigned to defend Tom Robinson, an African-American man, against charges that he raped and beat Mayella Ewell, a young caucasian woman. The children find themselves dealing with the prejudiced attitudes of friends and family, but Atticus requires them to turn the other cheek. Despite the lack of anything but circumstantial evidence and the words of 3 caucasian witnesses, the jury finds Tom guilty and sentence him to death. That doesn't mean the end of the trouble for the Fitch family, as Mr. Ewell is determined to "get back" at Atticus. He nearly accomplishes his goal, but the children find assistance from a most unexpected source.
(OK, I've been working on this summary all morning and just cannot come close to expressing how wonderful this book is... I guess I'll have to save that for the "my thoughts" post.)
Please note: there is bad language and adult situations in this book. If you're younger than high school age, please check with your parents before reading To Kill a Mockingbird. I plan to have my daughter read it when she's studying the early 1900s time period in high school.