Hoping Harper Lee Delivers in Go Set a Watchman
After a 40 year hiatus and with much controversy about legal ethics, Harper Lee blessed us with another novel. We look forward to hearing the charming voice of Scout Finch once more. Already making its way up the best seller chain, Go Set a Watchman picks up years later when Scout goes home to visit Atticus in his old age. While reviews indicate this new book portrays Atticus in a not so positive light, we’re stoked to see a copy come across our counter so WE can be the final judge.
The true stickler for bad reviews is To Kill a Mockingbird. There’s a good chance you’ve read this book as over 40 million copies have been sold since its original publication in 1960. The novel has been translated into 40 other languages. It’s standard curriculum for nearly every American high school. Yet it continues to rank in the top ten for Most Challenged Classics of All Time by the American Library Association. That’s 55 years of continued upheaval about a single book! All we can say to that is, congrats Lee!
To Kill a Mockingbird has been on the banned and censored list since its first introduction to the public. One of the most interesting challenges took place in 1966 in Virginia when a school board deemed the use of rape as a plot device to be immoral. They called for the immediate removal of To Kill a Mockingbird from school libraries. Lee got word of this and sent the school board $10 to use in whatever way they saw fit. After the school board’s meeting to discuss the removal, they decided to keep it. And they say money can’t talk.
Another attempt to ban this gem of a novel took place in Casa Grande, Arizona. Parents wanted the book removed from their 8th grade students’ extra credit reading list. As we’re sure you can guess, the ultimate decision was to keep the book. Whether it was the use of the “n-word”, rape, racial hatred or division, promotion of white supremacy or blunt dialogue, this novel has been on shaky grounds its whole life. Still, we can’t seem to let it go.
Our hope is for Go Set a Watchman to shine in the same light as To Kill a Mockingbird. (By the way, in 2006 British libraries deemed To Kill a Mockingbird ahead of the Bible on their To Read Before You Die list!) We’re eager to hear from our favorite tomboy all grown up and full of ideas herself. We want something just as controversial and heartwarming as her first book. If you’ve read Go Set a Watchman, let us know. More importantly, trade it in so we can all get a taste of the best work to surely be written this year. Harper Lee won’t let us down, we’re sure of it.
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Publisher: Harper Collins
PubDate: July 2015