To Kill a Mockingbird Has a Sequel?

Everyone reads To Kill a Mockingbird in English class at some point in their lives. Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize winning novel has been around since 1960. Now, 54 years later, a sequel is being published.

The manuscript was found by Lee’s lawyer Tonja B. Carter. The title of the novel is Go Set a Watchman.  Carter first believed it was   just pages of To Kill a Mockingbird, however she soon noticed that Atticus and Scout were much older and the story took place in the 1950s not the 1930s.

The found manuscript has sparked a huge debate. Given her age (and some say, lack of mental clarity) many wonder if Lee was pressured or manipulated  into publishing it. When asked about the manuscript, she seemed uninterested and didn’t seem to want it published. A few members of the Monroeville community (where Lee has lived for decades) have publicly stated that Lee does not even recognize old friends and therefore could not have possibly agreed to sign off on the publication of the second book. Lee’s closest friends, however, disagree with these opinions and state that even though Lee is 88 and frail, she is absolutely capable to make the decision on her own.

Indian River High School Senior Kasey Fuller says in response to the new book, “It’s a sequel?”

Some people have the misconception that the book is a “new” piece. This, however, is not the case.  It was actually written first, and rejected by an editor who suggested Lee use younger, more innocent characters to make her points about racism.

Everyone is so excited over the fact that this “lost” book is being published, but have they stopped to take a minute and think about Harper Lee’s opinion on the matter? Think about it, To Kill a Mockingbird was published roughly 50 years ago, so why is this material just now being published? The answer is unknown really.

Regardless of what people may believe about the decision to publish the book, it is being published and Carter said that Lee was “happy as hell with the reactions to ‘Watchman.’”

According to the publisher, Go Set a Watchman will be available in July of 2015.