Best of the Web
To Kill A Mockingbird was chosen as a "Big Read" by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a program that promotes reading by having communities read the same book at the same time. The NEA has prepared a great website with an insightful biography of Lee, an overview of the book, reading group questions, and other useful links.
Harper Lee is one of many distinguished artists and writers who hails from the great southern state of Alabama. The Encyclopedia of Alabama chronicles her career and includes links to other Mockingbird resources and a bibliography.
We love teachers! Nancy Louise Rutherford, an exceptionally-dedicated English teacher at Belmont High School in Los Angeles, created this online study companion for the novel. It has chapter-by-chapter annotations, plus some links to help navigate the world of Maycomb, Alabama. Teachers rock!
This comprehensive site hosts a wealth of material about the trial of the Scottsboro Boys, the nine black teenagers who were accused of raping two white women in the 1930s. Lee was inspired by the case, which contains many of the same elements as Tom Robinson's trial in Mockingbird: black defendants, impoverished white accusers, a racially-charged political environment, and a courageous lawyer who was willing to risk community disapproval on behalf of justice.
Monroeville, Alabama, has never forgotten its favorite daughter, Harper Lee. The town where Lee grew up and where her father, Amasa Coleman Lee, practiced law has worked doggedly over the years to honor Mockingbird's legacy. The courthouse that inspired Lee's description of the Maycomb courthouse is now a museum. Performances of the play version of To Kill A Mockingbird are staged there each spring.
This is where Atticus Finch might practice if he were around today. The Center began in 1971 as a small law firm specializing in civil rights law. Today, it is a respected institution that advocates on behalf of social justice and tolerance.