In The Mockingbird Next Door, Marja Mills chronicles her time spent in Monroeville, Alabama with (frequently challenged book) To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee and her sister Alice. Marja has been extremely busy since the book was published in July, but took some time to share her thoughts with us.
Among the many excellent books to be the target of bans is Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” At least Lee has been in good company, with other authors whose books have been banned including Mark Twain, John Steinbeck and one Mr. George Orwell.
Several years after the book came out in 1960, Lee addressed a letter to a Virginia school board that had banned the book. “To hear that the novel is ‘immoral’ has made me count the years between now and 1984, for I have yet to come across a better example of doublethink. I feel, however, that the problem is one of illiteracy, not Marxism. Therefore I enclose a small contribution… that I hope will be used to enroll the Hanover County School Board in any first grade of its choice.”
The date Orwell highlighted in his novel “1984” no longer sounds futuristic. It’s firmly in the past. Efforts to ban books, unfortunately, are all too current, and “Mockingbird” is still a target.