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I Am Scout, by Charles J. Shields

(Image credit:

(Image credit:


Shields, Charles J. I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee. New York, NY: Henry Holt & Co, 2008. Print.

Annotation: This biography of Nelle Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, is a rework for younger readers of Shields’ book, Mockingbird. Throughout the book, we see how events of her life, including those in her childhood and young adult years, shaped the person she became.

Minireview: Did you read To Kill A Mockingbird? Maybe you did, and want to find out more about the creator. Maybe you didn’t and you wonder who this Harper Lee person is, anyway. I Am Scout is filled with tidbits to satisfy the truly curious.
Shields fully sets the stage, introducing Lee’s parents and grandparents, and explaining how their identities affected her. We get a 360-degree view of the world in which she grew up, and an idea of the pressures she put on herself and received from other people in her life. Through outings with her friend, Truman Capote; changes in colleges and in her career path; choosing where to live and where to work, the book shows a series of events through which Lee discovered who she was, and we get to discover it alongside her.


American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults

Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year

Arizona Grand Canyon Young Readers Master List


One response to “I Am Scout, by Charles J. Shields

  1. Hey, thanks for the summary. And good luck with your degree.

    Charles J. Shields
    And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life (Holt, November)

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