Saturday, September 13, 2014

To Kill A Mockingbird - Front and Center
Harper Lee's 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" remains a bestseller 54 years after its publication and, in a poll by Library Journal in 1999, it was voted the "Best Novel of the Century." It also stars one of the great Mighty Girls of modern literature, Scout Finch.

The novel tackles complex issues from the perspective of six-year-old Scout who doesn’t think much about the differences between people in her small 1930s Alabama town -- until a black man is accused of raping a white woman, and Scout’s lawyer father, Atticus, takes on his defense. Over three years, Scout finds herself swept up in events far bigger than herself and learns about her father’s heroic heart and gains new insight into racial inequality, compassion, and courage.

Lee depicts a world full of both beauty and savagery, but through the eyes of a child, struggling to understand why people are behaving in ways that seem, at times, like madness. Even fifty years after publication, this novel remains one of the most frequently challenged books in schools: first accused of undermining the justice system by depicting the racism within it, then decried for the use of racial slurs and hateful language, and, more recently, declared too forgiving and mild in its depiction of the injustices of the time.

At its core, however, this classic novel, starring a warm and loving family, is an astounding exploration of race, class, and justice, all superimposed on the challenges of coming of age. Highly recommended for ages 10 and up.
To learn more about "To Kill a Mockingbird," visit

The story was also adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Gregory Peck and Mary Badham -- to learn more, visit or watch it instantly on Amazon, visit

To discover more Mighty Girl books that have been challenged or banned because of the difficult issues they tackle, check out our blog post,
"Dangerous Words: Challenged and Banned Mighty Girl Books" at

For stories of girls and women confronting prejudice in many forms - be it due to gender, race/ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, or religion - visit our
"Prejudice/Discrimination" section at

For more thought-provoking Mighty Girl books for all ages, visit our
“Social Issues” section, and choose your area of interest from the left menu, at
Thanks to We Are Teachers for sharing this image!