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Racism in Harper Lee's to Kill a Mockingbird (Social Issues in Literature
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Gr 10 Up-These titles explore the theme of racism in two modern classics that are required reading in many English classes. In each book, a succinct introduction and time line of the author's life set the context for the work under discussion. These are followed by brief essays on racism from a variety of viewpoints related to the author and the characters and situations in the book (including a section of "Modern Perspectives," in which essays discuss, for example, how Barack Obama's experiences compare to Maya Angelou's). Biographical and critical information about the authors, further readings, detailed indexes, and well-chosen black-and-white illustrations enhance the texts. Most of the essays were written by academics. Students may find some of the language inaccessible or at least unfamiliar as when, for example, Maya Angelou is described in "Jungian archetypal terms" as "the anima" and her brother Bailey as "the animus." Although the essays are not long enough to serve as in-depth secondary sources for students with writing assignments on either book, their varied perspectives offer a wealth of ideas for papers and warrant purchase where demand dictates.-Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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