Another Great, in the books

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Nelle Harper Lee passed away at the age of 89 on Feb. 19- and what a loss it is.

Mashable commemorated the author’s passing by plucking a handful of unforgettable quotes from Harper Lee’s most renowned novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird”. (Some of which sixteen-year-old me hand-picked and scribbled down, too.)

I know a lot of people who don’t like “To Kill a Mockingbird”. You might be one of them. Is it because you were *forced* to read it in high school? Because it’s ancient? Because it’s been challenged/banned countless times over the years?

What these people (or even you) might have missed is how genuine this novel is. I know this because I’ve read it not once, not twice, but three times. Granted, the first time for me was in high school. I decided to read it the second time because my younger brother also had to read it for his high school English class, so I wanted to play along because I remembered how good it was. The third time I picked up “To Kill a Mockingbird” was two weeks ago- coincidentally, a week before Harper Lee passed away. I was re-reading it in preparation for Lee’s sequel, “Go Set a Watchman”, that was released in June 2015.

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The sequel was said to be the 2015’s biggest hit, with fans swarming outside of bookstores before the midnight release. Imagine how much impact a novel must have in order to get people so riled up for its sequel fifty-five years later.

Harper Lee taught me several life lessons in just a few words. She gave timeless advice to her characters, who translated that to her readers. This is hard for some authors to do, but Harper Lee had a way of getting the message across simply and candidly in “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Here are a few of my personal favorites, drawn from Mashable’s article. (View the full list here.)

  • “Atticus, he was real nice.”
    “Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”
  • “Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.”
  • “Things are always better in the morning.”
  • “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.
    That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

With that, thank you, Harper Lee, for your unforgettable writing and wisdom. Another Great, in the books.

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