I AM SCOUT by Charles J. Shields


The Biography of Harper Lee
Age Range: 14 & up
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The life of one of literature’s greatest one-hit wonders is presented for young readers in an adapted version of the author’s Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee (2006). Starting with Lee’s childhood, he chronicles her Southern upbringing in a family that, while not open to discussions about emotional issues, always supported intellectual pursuits. Encouraged by her father and sister, both attorneys, Lee attended college and later moved to New York to pursue a writing career. The text does an excellent job of conveying the facets of Lee’s personality that made her a writing success, including her honesty, tenacity, sense of justice and adaptability of interpersonal style. In addition to detailing her writing of To Kill a Mockingbird, Shields demonstrates Lee’s critical role in the creation of longtime friend Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Prior knowledge of both works is not absolutely necessary, thanks to an absorbing and easy narrative style; still, readers may not pick this up unless they already have an interest in Lee’s life. (black-and-white photos, notes, bibliography, index) (Biography. YA)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8334-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2008


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