Bloom, Harold. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, reprint edition 2006.
Harold Bloom is a prominent literary critic who published many collections of essays focusing on specific canonical authors and texts. In this essay, Bloom compiles a range of critical approaches, including essays on Harper Lee’s religion, Scout’s evolution throughout the novel, and the deployment of humor in the trial scene.
Haskins, James. The Scottsboro Boys. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1994.
This book describes the 1931 “Scottsboro Boys” case, in which nine young black men were accused of raping two white women. The trial and its aftermath have become synonymous with racism in the justice system, of the type explored in To Kill a Mockingbird. This book explores the people and motivations behind the trial.
Johnson, Claudia Durst. To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1994.
This book is the first full-length critical study of To Kill a Mockingbird. Johnson combines an account of the historical contexts—both the 1930s, when the book is set, and the 1950s, when it was written—with a literary analysis of the book’s form. The combined historical and literary elements make it an especially helpful reference text.
O’Neill, Terry. Readings on To Kill a Mockingbird. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2000.
This edited collection of essays examines different elements of To Kill a Mockingbird, ranging from its literary form to the social issues it addresses. It is targeted toward young adults, so it is particularly useful for high school students looking for a broad understanding of the novel.
Shields, Charles J. Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee from Scout to Go Set a Watchman. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2016.
This biography delves deeply into Harper Lee’s life, sharing details of her childhood and the creation of Mockingbird. It was updated in 2016 to include important information about the end of her life and the debate surrounding the publication of Go Set a Watchman.