To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is taught in schools across the world and is arguably one of the most controversial books to teach due to its’ subject matter. Some claim that the use of the n-word is repetitive and the theme of rape and the court decision is immoral, while others insist that this book is pivotal in teaching children about racism. But it’s interesting to look at how this Pulitzer Prize winner make its way into the American educational system in the first place.
Vox news makes an interesting argument as to why this book became so popular. When the book was first published in 1960 and sold million in hardback and two years later became an Oscar-nominated film. With plenty of books continually being adapted to the big screen, not many posters or any at all were marketed with the book dominating the image.
Image via IMDb
Penguin books actually played a huge role in shooting To Kill a Mockingbird to stardom. Before the internet, books were a key source of entertainment as not everyone had the money to afford a television set in their homes. So what did Penguin Books do to make reading more accessible?
They started printing paperbacks making a mass market size of pocket-sized books that could essentially be accessed everywhere, gas station, newsstands, grocery stores you name it! Paperback books being sold for thirty to sixty cents a pop, when To Kill a Mockingbird went to mass print in 1962, teachers had an accessible Pulitzer Prize-winning book that students could afford. It spent eighty-two weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers list and has sold eleven million books and counting.
Image via Newportonthelevee.com
To Kill a Mockingbird is sensational book that makes a political statement about societal views of people of color in the 60’s discussing heavy topics of rape, racism, and morality. There are plenty of reasons as to why this book has made it’s mark and found it’s way into the hearts of book lovers the world over.
Feature Image via A Conscious Rethink