Introduction

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill a Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic and deeply moving, To Kill a Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behaviour - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humour and pathos. Now with over 15 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by an Alabamba woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

Life is a complicated thing. Reading and studying great novels like To Kill a Mockingbird helps us to make some sense of it. This web site is designed to enrich your reading of the novel and help you gain a broader understanding of the world and your place in it. It is full of different ideas, strategies and techniques for studying the novel so that you can choose the path you want to take and confidently become an expert on To Kill a Mockingbird.

The web site offers you the opportunity to explore To Kill a Mockingbird within both its historical context and as a work of literature. It provides you with extensive background material about the author and the book, a close study of characters, themes and issues, the text's narrative elements, its film adaptation, and related language activities.

Each section provides you with a variety of stimulating and rich activities and tasks, as well as extension tasks that underpin the exploration of and thinking about, the novel, its context and its universal relevance.

You can select your choice of activities and tasks or can be guided by your teacher. A series of enrichment tasks that cater for different learning styles have been designed to consolidate your understanding and extend your responses.