This is one of the classical school textbooks read in the 'Kursstufe' (sixth form).
Its authoress Harper Lee was born in the race and violence stricken state of Alabama in 1926.
She comes from a lawyer's family which is reflected in the protagonist of this novel, Atticus Finch.
For To Kill a Mockingbird Lee was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1960. The novel has also been
made into a successful movie.
A brief summary of the novel:
Atticus Finch is a lone father with two children, one of which is Scout who often spends her summer holiday
with a friend, called Dill, in her southern hometown of Maycomb. One strand of the novel's action deals with
their main activity which is to find out more about one of the Finch's neighbours, the mysterious Boo Radley.
A second strand of action and reflection is about Atticus Finch, a lawyer, who not only treats his children as
individual beings, but also a Negro who is accused of a crime committed to a white woman. Atticus' brave attitude to defend
the black man provokes resentment among the predominantly white population of Maycomb. He is called
nigger-lover, but is superior enough not to be distracted from his sound convictions and ideals.
For Scout and her brother, Atticus is not only a good father but also an example to them. All the episodes in the
novel lead to some kind of learning experience for Scout.
In the end when Scout and her brother are saved from a white man's attack by the mysterious Boo
Radley, she realizes that she must not judge people until you get to know them.
Helpful for your class preparation are: