This book was an eye opening experience for my 7th grade self. I had started reading more literary fare by that time, but I didn't really experience the gut wrenching change a book could have on a person until I read this one. Sadly, being from the South, I can state that many of the truths hidden within this great novel still are alive and well. The patriarchal system is still in effect. I dress my daughter in a pair of jeans to go outside to play and I am told that I am "setting her up for failure" as a girl. Also, I am weird and suspect because I spend time alone with my daughter. I won't go into racism, because WOW, the South is racist. I think this was something I wouldn't have realized if I hadn't read this book.