Press Release 12/10/18

(Kent, Connecticut) –Published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird won the Pulitzer Prize and became a classic of modern American literature. It has been translated into some 40 languages and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. The novel was and is widely praised for its sensitive treatment of a child’s awakening to racism and prejudice in the American South. This year it was named the #1 Book from America’s 100 most-loved books brought to you by PBS’s The Great American Read.

In January, Kent will revisit Maycomb, Alabama, the setting of the novel during the early 1930s. The Kent Memorial Library will offer a three-part series, To Kill A Mockingbird: An Exploration. These events are appropriate for people aged 12 and up and we will be welcoming varying perspectives to enrich the conversation. As Scout’s father explained to her “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Join us as we examine both the novel and the movie during 3 weeks in early 2019.

Saturday, January 12 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. To Kill A Mockingbird: An Exploration Part 1* Book Discussion: To Kill a Mockingbird. Join an expert panel of educators led by Athenaide Dallett, Ph.D., English department at Kent School, as they explore: Why was To Kill a Mockingbird voted by PBS viewers as their #1 Great American Read? Has the novel stood the test of time? How might the novel impact a young African American reader differently from a young white reader? Is Harper Lee’s portrait of Alabama in the 1930s historically accurate? What are the novel’s aesthetic strengths and weaknesses? Free & open to the public. Come to the Kent Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Boulevard for part one of the Library’s series. Please register. Note: To get a copy of the book, please sign-up at the front desk or support Kent’s Book Store – House of Books, 10 North Main Street, Kent. The audiobook is also available free for library card holders on hoopla. Inquire at the Library if you need assistance using this service.

Saturday, January 19 at 3:00 p.m. To Kill A Mockingbird: An Exploration Part 2* Book Talk & Signing: Why To Kill A Mockingbird Matters – What Harper Lee’s Book and the Iconic American Film Mean to Us Today. Author Tom Santopietro, well-known for his writing about American popular culture, delves into the heart of the beloved classic and shows readers why To Kill a Mockingbird matters more today than ever before. He traces the writing of the book and its ongoing appeal. He also reveals the complete behind the scenes story of the film, from the earliest casting sessions to the choice of director and the three Oscars it won, to the 50th anniversary screening at the White House. He explores what makes the movie and Gregory Peck’s unforgettable performance so captivating, and how, at the time of the film’s release, Americans of every stripe wanted to believe that Atticus Finch reflected their own essential decency. Free & open to the public. Join us at the Kent Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Boulevard for part two of the Library’s series. His book will be available for purchase and signing. Please register.

Saturday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:30) To Kill A Mockingbird: An Exploration Part 3* Movie: To Kill A Mockingbird (Not Rated 2 hr. 9 min.) Join us for this 1962 classic film about Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck), a lawyer in the Depression-era South, who defends a black man (Brock Peters) against fabricated rape charges. The trial and other events expose his children to the evils of racism and stereotyping. Free & open to the public. Come to the Kent Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Boulevard for part three of the Library’s series. Please register. (snow date: Friday, February 1, 2019).

*Attend all 3 programs in this series and your name will be entered to win 2 tickets to the Broadway production of To Kill A Mockingbird with Jeff Daniels on February 5, 2019, at Shubert Theatre, 225 West 44th Street, New York.