Our inaugural Read Across McKinney selection was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. We selected this thought-provoking title to reflect McKinney's past while addressing the issues created by our rapid growth as a diverse community.
Author Charles J. Shields kicked off Read Across McKinney events on April seventh with a lecture about the life ofTo Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee. On April eighth he presented a program on McKinney during the time frame of the novel. It was held in conjunction with programs at the Heard-Craig house, Chestnut Square Historical Park and the Collin County History Museum.
Charles J. Shields taught and administered high school for 20 years. Before that, he was a reporter for public radio in central Illinois. His first book was The College Guide for Parents (The College Board, 1985). After leaving education in 1997, Mr. Shields turned to writing full-time and finished 20 nonfiction books for young people before undertaking his current biography of Harper Lee for adults, which was published in June 2006.Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Leeis the first biography to be published about the author of the most popular novel of the 20th century. To complete it, Shields interviewed or corresponded with nearly 600 people over the course of four years, in addition to doing research in various parts of the country.
Mr. Shields lives in Barboursville, Virginia with his wife Guadalupe, a bilingual editor for textbooks.