To Kill a Mockingbird is timeless, continuing to be a favorite among both students and adults. One million copies are sold every year, and it remains one of the books most often taught in school. This companion guide helps students to better understand the complex themes of race, class, and gender that were first introduced in To Kill a Mockingbird and remain relevant in Go Set a Watchman, which both challenges and mirrors the topics discussed in Lee's first novel.
A literary scholar and a friend of Harper Lee herself, author Claudia Durst Johnson brings a unique perspective to Lee's texts. The book provides a historical background of the Great Depression and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement as well as an analysis of the widespread censorship of Lee's works. Chapters provide important context for topics such as racial issues, women's issues, and class divisions in the Deep South and serve as discussion points that give students a starting point for their research; similarly, teachers who struggle with how to introduce students to these challenging but timely topics will appreciate the wealth of knowledge this companion guide will deliver.