1960: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author/Editor: Harper Lee
Harper Lee’s only published work, To Kill a Mockingbird, has won numerous literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. Addressing issues of race, social class, and prejudice, Lee tells the story of a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman in the Deep South and the resulting court case. Narrated through a child’s eyes, the story illustrates lessons of morality and social conscience – standing up for what you believe is right, even in the face of adversity.
Published just as the American Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum, To Kill a Mockingbird is notable for its condemnation of racial inequality and for its sophisticated narrative style. Despite the moral lessons therein, this book has often been on banned book lists because of the use of racial epithets.