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Annotation: The story of Harper Lee's life and how events of her childhood made effected her famous story, To Kill a Mockingbird.
I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee covers Lee's life thus far with a focus on the influences that went into the formation of Lee's novel. The biography is an adaptation of the author Charles J. Shields' adult biography of Lee. This fact is not evident when reading the book. The author extensively quotes from printed sources, along with letters he has received and interviews. Shields includes an exhaustive list of sources by chapter at the end of the book along with superscript reference numbers in the text. The book also contains a comprehensive index.
The text is well written and interesting, Shields uses direct quotations frequently. There are also photographs interspersed throughout the text. The author is balanced in his portrayal of Lee, he included negative statements made by others about Lee. What was missing from the book was contact with the subject. Shields did not correspond or interview Lee for the book. He makes a point to mention her reclusiveness leaving the reader to infer that his attempts were rejected. Overall a very well written biography.
2009 Bank Street- Best Children's Book of the Year