I had to read To Kill a Mockingbird, or TKAM, as we referred to it, in 7th grade, last year. Like most of the books we have to read in English class, I hated it in the beginning (I honestly thought the whole book would be this young Southern girl complaining about reading in school), and, also like most of the books we have to read in English class, by the end I was so glad that I read it. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm glad that I got to know the characters, and the story, and the setting, and to know all the quotes and symbolism, but most of all I'm glad to know the type of discrimination and hatred that humans are capable of. Some of those courtroom scenes really opened my eyes (or my mind, since I was reading it.) I'm also glad that we, as a country and society, have learned since the time of To Kill a Mockingbird and I sincerely hope that TKAM sticks around as a reminder to keep moving forward.
Like I said before, I had to read the book for English, so naturally I had to destroy the thing in the process. At first I felt some sort of joy in ridiculing this thing that only brought me boredom and work, but then later as I learned to love it, I justified my vandalism as a tribute to the novel. The cover previously depicted the narrator of the story, Miss Scout Finch, but I used by creative talents to morph her into my interpretation of Atticus. (Various signatures from my peers are also visible.) We were required to "annotate" in the margins, but I took those instructions to an extreme by doodling whatever random pictures came into my mind, as well as the rare literary note from my teacher. Ms. Lee might feel differently about my defacing her masterpiece, but this messy-looking paperback will always have a place on my shelf and in my heart.
A once-mostly-empty page.
As you can see, I was quite fascinated with how I thought Atticus should look like.
I also had my say on the dialect that the book was written in. (I didn't really keep in mind that the story was told by an 8-year-old girl.)