Alabama Spitfire

The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

Bethany Hegedus
Erin McGuire

The inspiring true story of Harper Lee, the scrappy tomboy who grew up to be one of the most beloved writers of the twentieth century.

Nelle Harper Lee grew up in the rocky red soil of Monroeville, Alabama. From the get-go she was a spitfire. Unlike most girls, Nelle preferred overalls to dresses and climbing trees to tea parties. Nelle loved to watch her daddy try cases in the courtroom. And she and her best friend, Tru, devoured books and wrote stories of their own. More than anything, Nelle loved words. This love eventually took her all the way to New York City, where she dreamed of becoming a writer. Any chance she had, Nelle sat at her typewriter, writing, revising, and chasing her dream. Nelle wouldn’t give up—not until she discovered the right story, the one she was born to tell. Finally, that story came to her, and Nelle, inspired by her childhood, penned To Kill a Mockingbird.

“Inspirational.”—Kirkus Reviews

“An affectionate ode to a writer who 'carved out a life of her own design.'”—Publishers Weekly

“Admirably show[s] Lee’s experiences in Alabama and in New York City.”—School Library Journal

—CBC/NCSS NotableSocial Studies Trade Book
—Junior Library Guild 2018 Selection
—A Mighty Girl Best Books of the Year