Posts Tagged 'New York'

I Am Scout Review


I Am Scout cover art

I Am Scout cover art



Shields, Charles J.  I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee.  New York: Henry Holt and Company.  2008.  

212 Pages

Grades 7-10

Q3 – P3 – J – S

To Kill a Mocking Bird is likely to be the first piece of required high school literature that an American teenager really enjoys and engages with.  It’s accessible and relevant to them on many levels and across a broad spectrum of teen types; to me, it is a supremely perfect entity (Q5 – P5 – J – S.  Know what I mean?).  It’s also the only novel Harper Lee ever wrote which is a bummer.  Enter Charles Shields I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee, the informatively written supplemental reading to the original beloved text.  Shields is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, which he has adapted here for younger readers.  Still, readers of all ages will enjoy the parallels between Lee’s life and To Kill a Mocking Bird and many of the antidotal tales about Lee and her life are fascinating (One of the best bits is Shields retelling a satirical one act play Lee wrote for her conservative college newspaper called “Now Is the Time For All Good Men”).  Lee is indeed the Scout character many readers fall in love with when the read To Kill a Mocking Bird.  
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The First Part Last Review


The First Part Last cover art

The First Part Last cover art


Johnson, Angela.  The First Part Last.   New York: Simon & Schuster.  2003.

Grades 8-12

144 Pages

Q4 – P3 – J – S

If Spike Lee ever made a movie of Angela Johnson’s The First Part Last it would be called Do the Right Thing 2.  The book documents 16 year old Bobby’s life before and after his girlfriend Nia becomes pregnant and gives birth to their daughter Feather.  They struggle with everything from telling their parents and their friends to parental pressure to give the baby up for adoption.  What’s the right thing to do?
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