When To Kill a Mockingbird first appeared in 1960, it became an instant bestseller. It is still considered a masterpiece of American literature, with over 15 million copies in print in ten languages. Harper Lee's semiautobiographical tale is told from the point of view of six-year-old Jean Louise "Scout" Finch. Scout, her brother Jem, and their friend Dill share routine childhood adventures in a small Alabama town in the 1930s where Scout's father, Atticus, is an attorney. But when a brutal rape shakes the town, serious life lessons begin. The children learn about racial prejudice as they watch Atticus courageously defend an innocent black man. They learn tolerance and empathy as they observe his championing of the crotchety Mrs. Dubose. And they see the power of kindness in his protection of the reclusive Boo Radley.