To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the best-loved stories of all time. And one of the most frequently challenged.

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From the Amazon sales page:

One of the most cherished stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

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In the 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jean Louise (Scout) Finch tells of events in her childhood.

She lives in Maycomb, Alabama, with her older brother, Jem, and their widowed father, attorney Atticus Finch.

The story begins when Scout is almost six and Jem is nearly ten.

She says their summertime boundaries are Mrs. Dubose's house two doors to the north, and the Radley's, three doors to the south.

This is the summer they meet Dill, who is "goin' on seven" he tells them. His real name is Charles Baker Harris, and he's the nephew of Miss Rachel Haverford, who lives next door. Dill has come to stay with her for the summer.

Dill is fascinated by the Radley place. Mr. Nathan Radley owns the house. His brother, Arthur (nicknamed Boo) has lived there with him for years without ever going outside.

Never having seen Boo doesn't stop Scout and Jem from believing all sorts of scary stories about him, and even making up a few of their own.

Dill is intent on getting Boo Radley to come out of the house, and one night he, Scout, and Jem sneak onto the property.

Nathan Radley shoots at them, and Jem loses his pants when they catch on the fence as he escapes.

Now another trip to the Radley property is  necessary to get his pants. Or else he will be sure to face trouble with Atticus for being at the Radley's in the first place.

More serious problems arise when Atticus agrees to defend Tom Robinson, a black man, who is accused of raping a white woman. 

Tom is innocent and Atticus presents the evidence. But the facts matter little to the all-white jury.

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Numerous attempts to ban To Kill a Mockingbird have been made over the years. Challenges to the book have usually cited strong language, discussion of sexuality and rape, and use of the n-word.

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