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Justice July – The Help

Katherine Stockett  The Help

“This could be one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird …If you read only one book…let this be it.”

With the front cover having such a glowing reference who could resist!

So to another justice issue  – that of civil rights in the southern states of the US  in the 1960s.  Written from three different perspectives Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter, it is the story of life as a black maid in the white homes of Jackson Mississippi.  The book follows aspiring writer Skeeter and her attempt to get the maids of Jackson to tell their stories in a time when few spoke out about the sanctioned racism that occurred.   Initially I found it a difficult read, as I couldn’t “get” the voice of Aibileen, but as the story progressed I was captivated by the various different maids’ tales and those of their white mistresses.  Having read and taught To Kill a Mockingbird  to Year 10, I would easily recommend this book to the same students/year levels.  However, I am not as comfortable with the author writing as Aibileen/Minny  (i.e. as a black maid)as I am with Lee writing as Scout (a white child observing black/white relations) but Stockett addresses this issue in an essay at the end.  Given that there is a movie (I haven’t seen it)  and useful discussion questions at the end, it also ticks some boxes as a teaching tool.


About hgtl

I am a secondary English/History teacher (BA DipEd, MA (Education) and a Teacher Librarian (MEd). I LOVE to research and through this site aim to -Support the introduction of the Australian Curriculum (especially in History) through sourcing quality and varied internet based sources (research guides) - Support teachers through conducting education based literature reviews - Provide suggestions on useful Web 2.0 tools - Offer other services such as curriculum writing, library collection assessment, novel recommendations (see my blog


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