7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About "To Kill a Mockingbird"

7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About "To Kill a Mockingbird"

By Elizabeth Lee , Jul 7th 2015

To Kill a Mockingbird book

In preparation for the July release of Harper Lee's second novel "Go Set A Watchman"...

"To Kill A Mockingbird" is a timeless classic for people of all ages. This Pulitzer Prize-winner is an unforgettable story of a child living in a Southern town during the years of The Great Depression. The story addresses the roots of human behavior — how we experience innocence, hatred, cruelty, and growth. It is considered a masterpiece among American literature today. In honor of the July 14 release of "Go Set A Watchman" the sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird", here are 7 fun facts about the book:

1. The original title of the book was Atticus.

to kill a mockingbird

It was later published as "To Kill A Mockingbird" because Lee decided that its original title put too much focus on one character.

2. "Go Set A Watchman" was actually written before "To Kill A Mockingbird."
go set a watchman and to kill a mockingbird

Friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered the original typeset of "Go Set A Watchman" in Fall 2014. Lee states she originally wrote this novel in the mid-1950s before she even thought to write "To Kill A Mockingbird," which was published in 1960.

3. The novel is said to based on Lee's life as a child.

to kill a mockingbird harper lee

Lee denies that "To Kill A Mockingbird" is any sort of autobiographical novel. However, her longtime friend Truman Capote stated that the novel has significant similarities to Lee's childhood. Lee is four years apart from her older brother like Jem and Scout. Her father was also a lawyer like Atticus. In the town where Capote and Lee grew up, a father hid his disgraced son from the rest of town like Boo Radley's father did to him.

4. "To Kill A Mockingbird" has sold over 30 million copies in English worldwide.


HarperColling states that the novel continues to sell 1 million copies every year and has been translated in over 40 languages.

5. Lee did not approve of the electronic publication of the novel until 2014.

to kill a mockingbird ebook

Lee fought to protect her intellectual property by disapproving the electronic publication of To Kill A Mockingbird. On her 88th birthday (April 28, 2014), Lee stated: "I'm still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries. This is Mockingbird for a new generation." The electronic publications were first released July 8, 2014.

6. Lee approved of the "To Kill A Mockingbird" movie adaption.

to kill a mockingbird

She described it as "one of the best translations of a book to film ever made." She even became very good friends with actor Gregory Peck (who played the role of Atticus Finch) soon after she saw the film.


"Go Set A Watchman" takes place 20 years after "To Kill A Mockingbird". An adult Scout returns to her hometown of Maycomb to visit her father Atticus. During her visit, she finds herself struggling with personal and public issues that are reflective of the political turbulence in the U.S. during the mid-1950s. Preorder Harper Lee's newest book with BookPal and save on your bulk book purchase today!

go set a watchman harper lee

go set a watchman



This post was written by Linda Cheung, a social media intern at BookPal. She is currently reading Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

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