Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

Written by Bethany Hegedus, Illustrated by Erin McGuire

I didn’t realize that To Kill a Mockingbird was based on the actual life of Nelle Harper Lee and that the character, Scout, was modeled after Harper Lee herself. This picture book biography tells of Nelle’s childhood friendship with Truman Capote, of watching her lawyer father in the courthouse, and of the scary house that they watched from a tree house. It then tells us of how the book came about after Lee moved to NYC to become a writer. I was happy to see it included information about Lee’s sequel book, Go Set a Watchman, which was written in the 1960s and just was released a few years ago. While the book stands alone with no foreknowledge of the Pulitzer Prize winning book, it is geared for a more mature reader, at least 3rd grade and up to adults. The illustrations are wonderful as well.

Review by Terrie Bishop, Academy Park Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-12

Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird
Written by Bethany Hegedus, Illustrated by Erin McGuire
Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
36 pages
Release Date: January 23, 2018
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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