This group will use Harper Lee’s classic novel to study the Great Depression, race relations during the Jim Crow era, and the beginning of the American civil rights movement. We’ll talk about race and class inequality in American history, race in the criminal justice system, how our circumstances impact our point of view, and the consequences of standing apart from the crowd. We’ll also discuss the limitations of the novel, including the perspectives it leaves out by telling a story about race through the eyes of a white narrator.
Students may elect to take this class for a grade. All students must read the novel and do additional readings/watch assigned movies, but students who work for a grade will also have short written assignments each week. Graded students will also be asked to participate in an online book club after the course ends (~3 weeks with some deadline flexibility).
Suggested age range: High school. Students should be mature enough to read the book itself and to discuss the themes it covers, including frank discussions of rape and lynching. To Kill a Mockingbird has been taught successfully with students as young as 7th grade, but parents of younger students may wish to read (or re-read) the novel before deciding if it is appropriate for your child.
When & where: Fridays at Voyagers in Chelmsford (directions) from 11:00-12:00, Jan. 31 – May 1, 2020. No class Feb. 21 or Apr. 24.
Fee: $225 for the semester, which includes a non-refundable registration fee of $10. Each student receives a free copy of To Kill a Mockingbird; students electing the graded option must buy their own book club selections separately. Occasionally there may be additional fees for movie rentals (commonly $2 to $3 per film). Please read our media policy. $10 discount for Voyagers members. Payment plans available. Fees waived for families with financial need. (Waivers and payment plan information.)