To Kill A Mockingbird is absolutely one of the best books I've ever read. Lee writes very simply and truthfully about racial prejudice in 1930's Maycomb, AL. The story begins as Atticus Finch is defending a black man on the charge of raping a white woman. Lee describes in great detail how Scout and Jem, Atticus' children, come of age as they learn about the trial and how a jury of twelve white men refuse to look past the color of a man's skin and convict him of a crime he did not commit. Lee's writing is effective because she brings a simple truth to light: when the children ask Atticus to explain injustice, he tells them that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. A friend explains to them, "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
Lee never preaches to the reader, but her subtle comparison and contrast of the innocence of the children in the face of so much corruption is one of the most compelling aspects of this novel. The innocent are persecuted while the guilty go unpunished. I highly recommend this book.