To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee
Each trip through To Kill a Mockingbird is a learning experience. Through an extraordinary cast of extremely ordinary people, the development and essence of human character, values, ethics, dignity and courage are illustrated. Inspiration comes from the workaday nature of the individuals and life depicted. No super-heroes, no super-human feats, no glitz, no glamour. The complexities of character are defined by the characters themselves—Scout, Jem, Boo, the Cunninghams, Mr. Ewell, the town, and of course Atticus Finch. Inspiration comes from the reality that our true values are not always simply identified or easily maintained. The foundations of character (and even the lack thereof) are developed and tested every day in every way by everything. Just when you think you have these conflicts under control, a new challenge is created. I periodically revisit the people of Maycomb as a reminder of those things that shape our character and values and the courage required to trust and maintain them.
From Books That Inspire 2004.