April 28th-Harper Lee’s Birthday

We both love the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and revel in the idea of celebrating Harper Lee’s birthday today. Did you know the book is the twentieth century’s most widely read American novel—has sold thirty million copies and still sells a million yearly?  Yet Harper Lee remains quite mysterious. . . We suggest learning more about her life with your family or students through our book recommendations at adult and young reader levels by the same author.

One for You and One for Me:

Mockingbird:  A Portrait of Harper Leeby Charles J. Shields

This is the first-ever biography of Harper Lee.  She stopped granting interview about 40 years ago, and Shields had to rely on years of extensive research and interviews with those who knew her.  No wonder it is a best-seller!   We not only learn about her struggles to create her best-selling novel, but also the highlights of her life and their impact on her writing. Shields focuses on several questions:  Why did Lee not follow up the amazing success of To Kill a Mockingbird with another novel? Did her friend Truman Capote really write the book? Why did Nelle Harper Lee never marry?  We think you’ll enjoy every minute of this fascinating read–and you’ll be ready to share the following version with younger readers. . .

AND

I am Scout:  Biography of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields

How cool is that–Charles Shields takes his best-selling biography of Harper Lee and adapts it for a younger audience.  Best of all, this is a thoughtful and serious biography that in no way speaks down to its readers.  Both informative and interesting, the bio helps us learn the parallels between Lee’s life and experiences and her great novel.  It makes you want to read To Kill a Mockingbird all over again–or perhaps for the first time!

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