Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Gift of Harper Lee's Mockingbird

Atticus said to Jem one day, "I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird."
Published July 11, 1960
That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. 

"Your father’s right," she said. "Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” 

An introduction to Harper Lee...
Harper Lee - photo source

She is an American writer, famous for her novel To Kill A Mockingbird, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. 

To Kill A Mockingbird became an international bestseller and was adapted for the screen in 1962.   
Scout (Mary Badham) and Harper Lee on set - source

Don't you think Mary Badham (the young actress who played Scout in the movie) looks like a little Harper Lee?  Like Lee, Badham grew up in Alabama amid racial tension and segregation.

Lee was 34 when the book was published, and it has remained her only novel. 

Descended from Robert E. Lee, the Southern Civil War general, Nelle Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama on April 28, 1926. 

Lee's father was a former newspaper editor and proprietor, who had served as a state senator and practiced law in Monroeville.

Lee developed an interest in English Literature in high school, and then went to an all girls college in Montgomery, where she was eventually accepted into law school.

But after her first year in the law program, Lee began expressing to her family that writing - not law - was her true calling. She went to Oxford University in England that summer as an exchange student. 

Returning to her law studies that fall, Lee dropped out after the first semester. She soon moved to New York City to follow her dreams to become a writer. [more here]

"Now, 75 years later in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books."
-Harper Lee, in a letter written to Oprah in 2006

In 2007, Harper Lee was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush.
White House photo by Eric Draper - source
To Kill a Mockingbird has influenced the character of our country for the better. It's been a gift to the entire world. As a model of good writing and humane sensibility, this book will be read and studied forever. 
- President George W. Bush about Harper Lee's work.

No comments:

Post a Comment