Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and quickly became a best-seller. To Kill a Mockingbird is considered standard reading for millions of young people.
The book is about a girl named Scout growing up during the Depression in Alabama, and the things she learns about people and life over the course of two years.
The little girl had a quick mind so she grasped most lessons from her father, Atticus, and the rest from her own experience. The book is filled with life lessons and it brilliantly depicts how people can develop ugly behaviors towards others, because of a series of misconceptions they get exposed to while being young.
Scout sees for herself that even the justice system is tainted by unfairness and at only 8 years she grasps a valuable lesson about empathy — we can only understand others by putting ourselves in their shoes.
The novel won the Pulitzer Prize and it inspired a generation of young lawyers during the civil rights movement.
In 1962, the book was made into a memorable movie, with Gregory Peck winning an Academy Award for his portrayal of Atticus.
Here are 24 To Kill a Mockingbird quotes that you’ll love:
People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for.
Things are never as bad as they seem.
It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.
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.
The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.
Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.
Things are always better in the morning.
You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ’em get your goat. Try fightin’ with your head for a change.
Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.
You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.
I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.
I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.
They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself.
Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time when they learn they’re not attracting attention with it.
You see they could never, never understand that I live like I do because that’s the way I want to live.
It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.
It’s not time to worry yet.
When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness sake. But don’t make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion faster than adults, and evasion simply muddles ’em.
We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.
Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.
There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.
The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.
People don’t like to have somebody knowing more than they do. It aggravates them.