Our young contributor, Whitney, has been waxing nostalgic ever since the announcement that a new Harper Lee book will be published on July 14. (She is also lovely, bright, clever and single, wink wink.) This is what she has to say about it!, and we couldn’t agree more.
To Kill a Mockingbird has been my favorite book since I first read it in fifth or sixth grade. (What can I say? I was precocious, even if I didn’t know exactly what “precocious” was.)
The big news made me want to create a tribute in words to the words that have meant so much to so many—even though I know Lee herself hates when others ride the coattails of Mockingbird‘s success. I tried some punny Valentines inspired by the book. But I could only think of one halfway decent pun:
So I scrapped that. It just feels wrong to say, “I ‘Atticus’ you out if you won’t be mine.”
Instead, I’ve decided to share a few nuggets of truth about love from the classic. Lee herself called the book “a love story, pure and simple,” so it seems fitting. Sure, Mockingbird doesn’t feature the romantic love that typically inspires Valentine’s greetings. But really, what’s more romantic than a child’s hero-worship for a pure and simple father? If you feel so inclined, you can even share on of these To Kill a Mockingbird quotes with one of your Valentines. I’ve suggested a few recipients.
To a friend who’s always there:
To a child on the brink of growing up:
To a jilted lover, or the one who jilted you:
To someone you’re missing:
To the man I want to father my children:
To an Atticus who doesn’t realize they’re an Atticus:
I’m saving that Jem Valentine for when my own Jem comes along. The way I see it, Mockingbird is Jem’s coming-of-age story, told through Scout’s eyes. He’s always been my favorite character, surpassing Atticus and rivaling even Gilbert Blythe for my literary affections. And he did gallantly carry a ham costume, after all. If you know a grown up Jem, send him my way.