( CNN) Any day now, we’re constantly told, volumes will no longer exist and humankind will depend exclusively on images and tweets to tell its tales. From the latter half of the 20 th century all the way through the first 15 years of the 21 st, there’s been endless chatter predicting the end of printed pages between binders. Or, at the least, of their power and influence on people.
And yet, it was through much of this same period of time that a single volume telling a slight, yet tender narrative of childhood, terror and injustice in a small Southern town was asserting its influence upon several generations of readers. Many were so inspired by the moral example set by the book’s lawyer-hero that they went to statute school.