I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee


I Am Scout




Written by Charles J. Shields


Henry Holt, 2008, 256 pp., $18.95

ISBN: 0805083340           (ages: 12 +)

Rating: HR               Genre:  Biography


This biography explores the life and writings of Harper Lee.  Charles J. Shields has written another biography on Lee, Mockingbird, but I Am Scout is geared more to young adult readers.   Shield examines Lee's Southern upbringing, her relationships with family and peers, and how she involves many of them in her literature.  This book traces Lee's path from a rebellious young girl in Monroeville, Alabama, to her college years and subsequent career in New York.  The bulk of this biography focuses on her critically acclaimed novel To Kill a Mockingbird.  Many of Lee's friends, family and neighbors play important roles in this tale (including Truman Capote), but none as important as her father, A.C. Lee (Atticus Finch).  I Am Scout delves into Lee's shy, unsophisticated personality and her journey to unexpected fame.

           This book is recommended (R) because it teaches readers the relation between life experiences and incorporating them into fiction.  Knowledge of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird is recommended before reading this biography.


Reviewer:        Brian Nobles   

                        Pre-Service Teacher                                                                                            

                        Secondary Education, English


Suggested Themes:    Biography; Writing