By Harper Lee
This is my favorite book. I've read it many times, often aloud. I find the rhythm of the language soothing, perhaps because, like Harper Lee, I'm a southerner. It is the quintessential coming-of-age story, set in a small southern town, in which racial injustice is seen through the clear eyes of a child. But it is also about the prejudices and preconceptions we all have of those who are different from ourselves. The story of Boo Radley, of course, is the most poignant example of this. I also love the part where a rabid dog wanders down the street one afternoon, and Calpurnia, the housekeeper, calls Atticus home. His son, Jem, who's having a hard time looking up to his father, is surprised to see Sheriff Tate offer Atticus the rifle—and astonished when Atticus hits the dog squarely between the eyes.