Artist: Morgan Hutcherson
Banned/Challenged Book: To Kill a Mockingbird
Reason for Banning: Book contains racial content, profanity, and reference to rape
Excerpt from Artist’s Statement: To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books that most people today end up reading in school, and rightly so. We read it our freshman year of high school, the same year that the drama department performed it as a play and it was stunning to watch. Although Harper Lee’s language is definitely worth reading, her story has the same strength in whatever form it is portrayed. Having made such an impression on me, I recently reread it again and ended up naming my new dog after Scout. I’m always delighted when people ask “Like in To Kill a Mockingbird?” Scout’s transition from childhood is one that so many people powerfully relate to for it is never easy to learn the sad truths of the world. It is heartbreaking to watch the fragile and tender honesty of youth learn that the world is not always honest. It is painful because we know it to be true and can remember learning this very same lesson from life. However, it is also inspiring and helps us to open our ey! es to everyone’s essential goodness and realize that although reality is harsh, we are not alone.
In my illustration, I wanted to capture the lazy childhood days of summer but foreshadow the harsh realizations to come. Scout plays (and cheats) at hide and seek with Dill and Jem, standing in the evening light while the boys run off into the shadows, representing maturation. The Radley house in the background appears dark and uninviting from this far away, which is exactly how the children see it in their youth. Only as they grow do they approach the real truth.