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Teachers Share Excitement Over Lee's Sequel to 'Mockingbird'

Teachers Share Excitement Over Lee's Sequel to 'Mockingbird'

Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird", announced that she will publish a second novel, "Go Set a Watchman", this summer. The book will be about the same characters, following Scout as an adult. Teachers all around the country are excited and eager to bring the novel in the classroom.

"Personally, I’m thrilled because I can’t think of another novel that has such incredible emotional staying power,” said Lynn Burke, an English teacher at Boston Latin School who hopes to teach the book to next year’s seniors, according to an article on BostonGlobe.com. “I can already see myself building lesson plans around it.”

According to the article, "'Mockingbird' consistently ranks as one of Americans’ favorite books, only a few places behind the Bible. Laura Bush and Oprah Winfrey have lauded its national importance, and even Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski mentioned the book on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' this week, calling it 'A Mocking to Remember, or whatever' — he couldn’t quite remember the title."

The article said that one of Burke's students, senior Brian Zick, "recalls 'To Kill a Mockingbird' as the only required reading he loved in seventh grade. On a Skype call with friends this week, news of Lee’s second novel came up. They all were ecstatic. Zick said he didn’t mind that Scout will be 20 years older in the new book."

“When she was a child, she was relatively innocent and not as well-versed in the politics of the times and societal expectations of the times,” he said in the article. “Being a more experienced adult, I think she could definitely provide some insights into a story that we all know so well.”

According to the article, "Daniel Sigward, who designed a curriculum for teaching Lee’s first novel for Facing History and Ourselves, an educational nonprofit in Brookline, is also intrigued to see what Lee’s second book reveals about her first."

“It just has to lend some insight into the way ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ came together, even if it’s not a major work,” said Sigward, managing editor of content and innovation at the organization in the article. "Even if the new book isn’t a classic of literature, it will be really interesting to see how their lives turned out."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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