Like many students in England, I first encountered ‘To Kill a Mockingbird‘ as an assigned text during my GCSEs. Many of the novels and plays that I have read since have had a significant impact on me but none struck a chord in quite the same way as Harper Lee’s opus.
Her singular gift provided ‘life lessons’ that I return to time and again; not least in my own practice as a teacher. Having travelled full circle and taught the text to my own classes, there can be no doubt that Lee understood children and their unique view of the world.
While she may have left us, her words remain and will continue to enlighten young (and older) minds to the nature of life, including that which is unfair and unjust. Each time a character faces or suffers defeat, Scout’s (and our) eyes are opened a little further.
There is much to be learned from the experiences and perspectives of others; not least the importance of reason and compassion.
I learned a lot from Atticus, Scout, Jem, Dill, Calpurnia, Tom and Boo Radley.
Rest in peace Harper Lee.