How I missed this, I don't know. I just read an article in my Writer's Magazine about this year being the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.
I loved this book from the moment we picked it up my sophomore year. Scout wasn't like me, I'm not a tomboy, I'm not even all that adventurous. But I found something in her that resonated with me. I found a piece of all the characters in me. The quiet stand for the truth no matter how hard it is part of Atticus. The uncomfortable, but longing for normality bits of Boo Radley. Every character had something I could identify with - whether it was because I felt it in me already, or I wished I could count that as one of my strengths. Then there was the anger at injustice and depravity of those who were close minded and prejudiced. To Kill a Mockingbird made me open my eyes and see the world in a new way. Much like Scout, I found that there is a world that is outside of me and my immediate life. It's bigger and scarier and more confounding than I could have imagined. I grew as much as Scout and Jem did through the story and I felt like a different person when I read the last page. How many books can you say did that for you?
50 years and it's still impacting every reader and inspiring a new generation of writers. It has a permanent residency among my classics and most loved books. Right next to Shakespeare and Jane Austen. The shelves that I've sworn to never clear to make room for newer books.
I know it's easily one of the most beloved American classics and yet, this is the first I've heard of the anniversary or any special events surrounding it. How sad. I couldn't let that pass, so here is a link to the official calender of events.
Spread the word and celebrate one of the greatest American works of fiction ever. Better yet, tell me and your friends how it changed your life.