To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
This book takes place in small-town Depression-era Maycomb, Alabama. The story centers on the trial of Tom Robinson, a black worker who is falsely accused of rape by a young white woman. The small Southern town is bitterly divided over the racially fueled charges.
We see this ugly scenario play out through the eyes of a child. Jean Louise “Scout” Finch is the young daughter of Atticus, the civil rights lawyer who takes up Tom’s defense. She is spunky and bright and believes in the basic goodness of everyone, although the trial causes her to reexamine her beliefs. By the end of the novel, Scout learns about the evils of racism and the courage of one man (her father), who stands up for what he believes is right in the face of widespread public contempt.