My least favorite book is probably Lord of the Flies. An English schoolmaster wrote it in 1951. Since its publication, it has sold tens of millions of copies and been translated into more than 30 languages. Many call it a classic. I read Lord of the Flies in 10th grade, and I’ve never forgotten it. I hated the idea of children murdering each other. It pretty much scarred me for life. I’ve never read it since.
Forced to read
Reading is rarely fun when it’s forced upon you. Perhaps that’s why so many high schoolers are resentful about the books they’ve been assigned. I love to read, but I disliked a lot of them that I had to read in high school. I didn’t understand why we needed to read them. How would reading about kids savagely attacking and killing each other help us in life? Aren’t there better ways for us to learn about the darkness of humanity?
My mother is a former high school English teacher. As I was writing this post, I decided to reach out to her to find out what her favorite classic was. Not surprisingly, she had a difficult time narrowing down her list to a single favorite.
When we’re teenagers, our brains are still developing. Supposedly, a person’s brain isn’t fully developed until age 25. Perhaps this is why I disliked many of the books I had to read in high school. Maybe, I needed to be an adult (or at least 25) to fully appreciate them.
Re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird
When I began working on my List of 50 Things Before I Turn 50, I decided to add things to try that I hadn’t liked before, like rhubarb. I also decided to add “Read To Kill a Mockingbird” to my List. It’s not that I didn’t like the book, it’s just that I couldn’t remember how I felt about it. I read it so long ago, and I couldn’t recall many of the details. However, I did remember crying at the ending.
One of my friends loves To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s his favorite book, and he has read a lot of books. So, I wanted to know if it might become my favorite. Since I already had my goal to read 50 books, I knew I could kill two birds with one stone (no pun intended) by adding it to my List.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” — Atticus Finch
Well, I recently finished the book, and I LOVED it! First of all, Harper Lee is a gifted writer. It’s based loosely on her observations of events that occurred near her hometown in Alabama. As I turned the pages, I became completely immersed in the story. By the end, Atticus Finch was my hero. It’s not difficult to understand why this book received the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. However, because it addresses some sensitive issues like sexuality and rape and also uses the n-word, it has been banned in some public schools.
For me, reading To Kill a Mockingbird as an adult was a wonderful experience. I wish everyone took the opportunity to re-read books they didn’t like as teenagers. Maybe, I need to re-read Lord of the Flies.