Harper Lee to publish long awaited sequel

Freshmen Haley Johnson reads her favorite novel To Kill A Mockingbird

Karissa Murray

Freshmen Haley Johnson reads her favorite novel To Kill A Mockingbird


If you have taken freshman English, then you know the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Alabama woman Harper Lee. What you may not be aware of is that 88 year old Lee is coming out with a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird titled Go Set a Watchman. The release date of the book is July 14, just in time for a good read by the pool!

To Kill a Mockingbird is a story from the perspective of young Scout Finch who lives in Maycomb, Alabama who encounters countless adventures. Scout and her brother are intrigued by Boo Radley, the man across the street who never leaves his house. Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, is  a lawyer who defends  an African American man who is accused of a crime.

“I really enjoyed it and it got more interesting as the story progressed.” said freshman Haley Johnson “The relationship between the characters was outstanding and it’s just a really unique book. It showed the racism of the time really well.”

Published in 1960, the story was an immediate success and won a Pulitzer Prize a year later. There are 18 million copies in print and it has been translated into ten different languages.

“The possibility that they’ll be some of the magic of To Kill A Mockingbird in this new book is exciting,” said English teacher James Cook.

The story is told from the perspective of adult Scout,  twenty years after To Kill a Mockingbird took place.  Not much is known about the book yet, but it is believed that Scout is living in New York and travels back to Maycomb to visit her hometown and father.

Lee wrote Go Set a Watchman much earlier in her career, before she wrote To Kill A Mockingbird, but she never released it.

Some wonder if Lee is being taken advantage of in her old age and making her release it in order to make profit off it. Others like to remain more optimistic and believe this is what Lee wanted.

“I don’t know what changed her mind,” said Cook, “but I certainly think it’s possible that she’s been influenced by people who have something to gain from the publicity. I think she’s still able to make her own choices. It’s ultimately her decision, and I respect that.”

Lee is often thought of as a voice of race issues in America during the time of her novel. “I worry that Harper Lee gets pushed forward as the definitive voice of race in America, especially for white suburban kids” said Cook, “She is still a great novelist though.”

“I’m excited,” said freshman Brendan Johnson. “It’s going to be interesting to see what it’s like in Maycomb twenty years later.”

“I’m really excited for Go Set a Watchman and I’ll definitely be purchasing that,” Haley Johnson added. “I hope it really does To Kill A Mockingbird justice. If it doesn’t I’ll be disappointed.”