Why Gove Shouldn’t Kill the Mockingbird

Seems to me this is something we should all think about, and this blog says what I feel so succinctly that it seems the best thing for me to do is re-blog it on my pages. Hope you find it as worthy a cause to shout about as I do.

Interesting Literature

Regular readers of this blog may know that we at Interesting Literature are rather fond of the following story about the genesis of To Kill a Mockingbird. The story goes that Harper Lee’s friends gave her a year’s wages for Christmas, on condition that she give up work and write. By any standard of measurement, she used the time off work wisely: she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. It was published in 1960 and remains her only novel. Harper Lee – or Nelle Harper Lee, to give her her full name – is now 88 years old, but her one novel has done enough by itself to secure her reputation. It has sold over 30 million copies.

This morning, it was reported that Michael Gove, the UK Education Secretary, has removed To Kill a Mockingbird and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men from the school GCSE syllabus. Gove…

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2 thoughts on “Why Gove Shouldn’t Kill the Mockingbird

  1. If the books ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ are so important to teachers and readers alike – why can’t our GCSE pupils read the books themselves without having to be tested on them? I feel this rumpus is a fuss about nothing; it’s a political statement and very little to do with learning, understanding and education.


  2. I suppose if we believed that everyone would go out and read interesting and challenging books we wouldn’t have to worry about what was on the syllabus of schools. But I know from thinking about my own reading routes that without the guidance of some good teachers and tutors, on not just what good books are available, but also some other ways of looking at what they said, I might have stayed only with pulp fiction. Entertaining as those are, I’m glad that schooling taught me the skills I needed to try out all sorts of reading experiences.

    What worries me is the political aspect of this. I’d rather a collection of academic opinions created the literature syllabus. I’m sure they have a better idea of what can be aspired to.


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