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I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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“An absorbing and easy narrative style.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“A fascinating look at the unconventional Lee.” ―Booklist
“A surprisingly fascinating read.” ―School Library Journal
“A page-turner.” ―ElleGirl
“Readers will come away with the sense not only that they know the writer of [To Kill a Mockingbird,] but also that she is someone that they would quite like.” ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
About the Author
CHARLES J. SHIELDS is the recipient of a Quill Award Nomination for Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. He has been a teacher, a reporter for public radio, and a journalist, and is the author of several nonfiction books for young readers. He and his wife reside in Barboursville, Virginia.
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Top Customer Reviews
In essence, the parallels between Harper Lee's life and her characters' are striking, and her response to fame and fandom made me cheer. Learning about Harper Lee from Charles Shields made me want to read To Kill a Mockingbird all over again, and that, my friends, is the sign of a good piece of non-fiction. Plus, I can't help loving a guy who writes non-fiction for kids that includes a heap of endnotes.
The only potential downside to this biography is that it's a bit context-bound. Shields seems to write with the assumption that his readers are already familiar with To Kill a Mockingbird. But seriously, if you weren't familiar with To Kill a Mockingbird in the first place, why on earth would you be reading a bio on Harper Lee?
Surprisingly, this book was in the young adult section and was, perhaps, one of the most serious, most well-written of the young adult biographies that I have ever read. Now, that doesn't mean that it's written for adults or that teens and young adults won't get it or that they'll be bored by it. Absolutely not! While there isn't any fluff or sensationalistic reporting about Nelle Harper Lee's life, it's still a magnificent and well written, entertaining book about a wonderful, brilliant woman! He also doesn't sugar coat things - like how Ms. Lee's mother was so mentally ill, that she tried to kill Harper when Harper was 2 or Truman Capote's sexuality. I learned new things in this book too - I didn't know that Truman Capote and Harper Lee were so close or that Harper Lee had helped Truman Capote with his book - In Cold Blood.
I loved how the author was able to fully sketch Harper Lee's life in ten short chapters, chapters that show us the striking parallels between the author's life and To Kill a Mockingbird. This is totally worth the read!
To better ready our students for the AP English exam, we at FMHS are trying in incorporate more non-fiction into the curriculum. I feel that my students will greatly benefit from using "I Am Scout" as a companion piece to "To Kill a Mockingbird". What better way to incorporate an interesting non-fiction read for young adults than with "I Am Scout"!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An interesting endeavor about Harper Lee. Especially since there is not a great deal of information about her life and times.Published 15 days ago by Donna
I learned a lot about Harper Lee, and I'm glad I read it. Someone told me Ms. Lee did not like the book.Published 2 months ago by M. Tucker
Simply written for younger readers, I still enjoyed readying about Nelle Harper Lee. She was a neighbor until her sudden passing this past February. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Meredith Gray
The story of Nelle's life is almost as fascinating as Scouts' with so many parallels, it makes for a great read! Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Sedustine
It wasn't like To kill a Mockimgbird....not even close. Perhaps she wrote it. Sequels are never as good as the first book!Published 6 months ago by K. Foster
Read this after "To kill a mocking bird" (for the 5th or 6th time) and after the new release of "The Watchman". Read morePublished 6 months ago by Lynne Perry