(Original review, 2004-08-27)
There was a programme on the radio a few years ago which took a harsher view of the book. To summarise, Atticus Finch tried to win his case by substituting one prejudice (racism) with another (low-class women are loose and predatory). Beneath the charm, nostalgia and so on, there is a moral conflict if you like or confusion if you don't like. It's interesting that a female writer should elevate a male father-figure and denigrate a female alleged victim of rape. These are things to ponder, as a good play or novel should give us, and it isn't a children's book unless "Animal Farm" is also a children's book.
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.