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Thanks in part to her father, Atticus, and his frank and open-minded parenting skills, Scout is wise beyond her years in the Harper Lee novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. She learns about the perils of modern education from her overzealous and underskilled first grade teacher, Miss Caroline, who claims that Atticus has no business teaching his daughter to read.
"... Now, you tell your father not to teach you anymore. It's best to begin reading with a fresh mind. You tell him I'll take over from here and try to undo the damage--"
"Your father does not know how to teach. You can take a seat now."
Scout discovers that a part of the Finch family does not approve of Atticus's parenting skills or his taste in clients.
... the only time I ever heard Atticus speak sharply to anyone was when I once heard him say, "Sister, I do the best I can with them!" It had something with my going around in overalls.
Her cousin, Francis, who "gave me the sensation of settling slowly to the bottom of the ocean," also broke the news to Scout about his family's opinion of Atticus's love of humanity.
"... Grandma says it's bad enough he lets you all run wild, but now he's turned out a nigger-lover we'll never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb agin. He's ruinin' the family, that's what he's doin'."
Scout also learns that things are not always as they appear when her opinion changes about the neighborhood oddity, Boo Radley. First, she and Jem discover mysterious gifts in a knothole on the Radley property. Then, Jem tells her that his pants have been mysteriously mended after leaving them on the Radley barbed-wire fence. Finally, she is warmed during the cold night of the fire by none other than
"Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at the fire that you didn't know it when he put the blanket around you."
My stomach turned to water and I nearly threw up...
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