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Scout, Atticus & Boo

A 50th-anniversary celebration of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ – America’s ‘national novel.’

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Scout, Atticus and Boo:
A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird
By Mary McDonagh Murphy
HarperCollins
224 pp., $24.99

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In a time when fauxlebrities tweet every time they change their handbag, here’s a heartwarming tidbit: An octogenarian novelist made international headlines in June by feeding some ducks. (Take that, Kardashians.)

That Harper Lee isn’t just any novelist, and “To Kill a Mockingbird” not just any book can be seen by the headlines across England, the US, and Canada – mostly variants on “Harper Lee Speaks” – as a result of her “interview” with Britain’s Mail newspaper. (The interview consisted in its entirety of her thanking a reporter for a box of chocolates and a mention of the waterfowl-nourishment expedition.)

“To Kill a Mockingbird,” which turns 50 on July 11, remains a crowning achievement, and its narrator, Scout Finch, one of the most beloved tomboys in American literature. (You could argue whether she or Jo March deserves first place, but I couldn’t imagine my childhood without either.)

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