01
April
2015

We all love Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird is not only a classic, it is a genuine favourite for most of us, and I am sure we have inspired many teenagers to love the novel as much as we do.

Do you know that Harper Lee wrote another novel before To Kill a Mockingbird, but her editor suggested she take the character, Scout, and set it in the past, which resulted in the multi-million selling novel we know and love so well?

Her agent has now decided, apparently with Lee’s consent, to publish her first novel (which is actually a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. There is a great deal of controversy around the publishing of this novel and, with this being the month that celebrates World Book Day, we thought you might like to share this real life drama with your learners and hopefully inspire them to read To Kill a Mockingbird, if they haven’t already read it, and the new novel, Go Set a Watchman, which will be released in July this year.

To get you started, please find a worksheet based on an article about Harper Lee and her ‘lost’ novel on our website. You will find a lot of additional information in this Washington Post article – it reads like a soap opera and your learners are sure to find the saga intriguing.

Happy teaching!

MacMo

Categories: Lesson Ideas

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Comments (5)

  • rose jackson

    14 July 2015 at 11:05 |
    Francine Prose in a review in Harper’s Magazine (1999) described To Kill a Mockingbird as " .. a perennially beloved and treacly account of growing up in a small town during the Depression... saintly Atticus Finch, a lawyer who represents everything we cherish about justice and democracy and the American Way... to read the novel is for most and exercise in wish-fulfilment and self-congratulation, a chance to consider many thorny issues of race and prejudice from a safe distance and with comfortable certainty that the reader would never harbor the racist attitudes espoused by the low-lifes in the novel" - This is surely even more relevant in the light of killings of so many black people in the US, and the racial violence in RSA. Should we be (re) looking at the reasons this book is perenially prescribed to school kids in US and SA? See http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/13/critics-harper-lee-go-set-a-watchman-to-kill-a-mockingbird?CM

    reply

    • Macrat Team

      27 July 2015 at 08:44 |
      Thank you for the link to a most interesting article. It is always so rewarding to be exposed to as many different views as possible.

      reply

  • rose jackson

    18 July 2015 at 10:45 |
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/heres-why-you-should-read-go-set-a-watchman_55a671d8e4b0c5f0322be851?utm_hp_ref=arts

    It’s no wonder it wasn’t deemed fit for publication when it was submitted. But releasing Go Set a Watchman isn’t just a greedy move on the part of publishers. The book provides us with information that’ll be valuable to the way To Kill a Mockingbird is conceived. Whereas the latter classic paints an idealized picture of Atticus Finch, the former draft shows us that he’s complex, and deeply flawed, just like the legal system he represents.
    Huffington post 15 July 2015

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    • Macrat Team

      27 July 2015 at 08:46 |
      Thanks, Rose.
      I think teaching 'Mockingbird' has just become even more fascinating!

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      • rose jackson

        03 August 2015 at 10:51 |
        Absolutely BUT not for those teachers and their learners who slavishly follow the study guide, learn the model essays by heart. And not while The Exam encourages this.

        reply

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