5 Favorite Books...#2

In the fall of 1991, I was a new student at Live Oak High School in Watson, La.  It was my junior year and somehow I ended up in the Honor's English class.  I'm still not sure how, but that was where I sat.  My previous experience in English classes through my freshman and sophomore years centered around a textbook that was full of "excerpts" of books.  I don't think we ever read an entire book those two years.  When I moved into the LOH class, I knew things would be different.  My teacher, Mrs. Helen DeLatour was also new to LOH.  She came from a private school in the area and her expectations were different than anything I had ever experienced. She is the teacher who introduced me to my favorite book of all time.

To Kill A Mockingbird was always a movie I had heard about, but never took the time to watch, much less read the book.  But when Mrs. DeLatour put it in my hands, things changed.  I could not put it down and ended up finishing it way before we were supposed to finish the book.  One of our projects was to recreate a scene from the novel, video it, and share it with the class.

Melissa Morgan lived next to a creepy, old, abandoned house that would be the perfect setting for our scene. We chose the scene where Jim was caught under the fence at Boo Radley's.  Brandon Ruff played Boo with a twist - a sombrero and an automatic rifle (I think).  We never filmed Ruff, just his shadow.  I had the role of Scout, Kirk Williams played Jim, and Melissa played our Aunt, but I can't remember who else was involved.  I think maybe Stacey Lane and Michael Linton. We had a blast filming!

That book will forever be my favorite - I love the relationship of Jim and Scout - protective older brother to an annoying little sister who admires him.  Atticus Finch is the epitome of a single father - protecting his children from the evil around them, reading them to at night, setting high expectations. The conflict in the group was indicative of the time and I could picture this same situation happening all across the south.  The book drew me in and held me in rapt attention my junior year of high school and even now some 20 years later.

It's another book I read at least once a year and always notice something different in each reading.  At some point, I'd like to name a pet or a child after the characters in the book to show my appreciation of Harper Lee's timeless classic.  It's also on my list of books I'd like to find in an early edition one day to add to my bookshelf.