TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is about the crisis of human behavior and conscience arising from the racism and prejudice that exist in the small Southern town during the Depression. Scout Finch, age 8, who lives with her brother, Jem, and their lawyer father, Atticus, in Maycomb, Alabama, tells the story of her father's defense of Tom Robinson, a young black man who is being tried for the rape of a white woman. Harper Lee's only novel, first published in 1960 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, is a much-beloved tale of growing up, as well as an exploration of heroism confronted with bigotry.
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