This week's reading test deals with American writer Harper Lee. Listen to the news report and choose the option A, B or C which best completes each sentence. 0 is an example.
0 How to Kill a Mockingbird
A. was the first book by Harper Lee.
B. was written in the 1970’s
C. wasn’t always a popular book.
1 How to Kill a Mockingbird
A. deals with social issues.
B. is based on a well-known film.
C. sold 40 million copies the year of its release.
2 Go set a Watchman
A. has become the most pre-ordered book on Amazon.com ever.
B. was written before How to Kill a Mockingbird.
C. was written by Harper Lee at the age of 55.
3 Harper’s Lee second novel
A. has been widely acclaimed.
B. is considered a masterpiece by some critics.
C. might affect the writer’s reputation.
4 In How to Kill a Mockingbird
A. a child tells the story.
B. the main character has been falsely accused of committing a crime.
C. the main character is a black man.
5 In Go set a Watchman
A. the character of Atticus has become a racist.
B. the character of Atticus still lives in Alabama.
C. the story takes place 30 years after the ending of How to Kill a Mockingbird.
6 In Go set a Watchman readers think Atticus
A. is a symbol of racism in America today.
B. is still a hero.
C. may have a positive influence on today’s America.
7 Harper Lee biographer, Charles Shields, has said
A. Atticus is a perfect man.
B. Atticus reflects many people’s attitudes to racism.
C. the controversy has slowed the sales of the book.
American writer Harper Lee’s first - and until now, only - book, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” is one of America’s best-loved novels. The 1960 publication explores racism and injustice in the American South. It was an instant best-seller. Two years later it was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
Readers around the world have bought 40 million copies of the book since its release. “To Kill a Mockingbird” also inspired an Oscar-winning movie of the same name. Harper Lee’s second book “Go Set a Watchman,” was released, 55 years after the first. Lee had announced in February that she would publish a sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The new novel became the most pre-ordered book on Amazon.com since the final book in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. Lee wrote “Watchman” in 1957, before she wrote “Mockingbird.” Her editor at the time encouraged her to rewrite “Watchman” from the point of view of a child. She agreed. That effort became “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
But so far, Ms. Lee’s second novel has received mixed reviews. It has also led to debate. Some observers are questioning how “Go Set a Watchman” will affect Ms. Lee’s legacy, as well as the legacy of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The Wall Street Journal described the novel as a “distressing book.” The Los Angeles Times called it “an apprentice effort.” And a U.S. public radio critic said it was “a kind of a mess that will forever change the way we read a masterpiece.”
“To Kill a Mockingbird” takes place in the 1930s in a small town in the southern state of Alabama. Six-year-old Scout Finch narrates the story. Her father, lawyer Atticus Finch, defends a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. Lee wrote the character of Atticus as a strong believer in justice. He bravely faces, and fights, deep prejudice and hate among the people in his town. The story of “Go Set a Watchman,” is set about 20 years after the ending of the first book. An adult Scout returns from New York to visit her father in Alabama. Some readers are protesting the character of Atticus as he is written in “Go Set a Watchman.” They say he is a racist. And, they say that that is unacceptable. In a letter to The New York Times, one man wrote, “As a native of Alabama, I had held up Atticus in my own mind as a redemptive figure, a symbol of hope, a hero who was brave enough to fight for what is right despite the poisonous and dangerous pools of racism long associated with whites in the Deep South.” Others consider this latest version of Atticus good for today’s America. Harper Lee biographer Charles Shields spoke to the New York Times about the book. He said this Atticus could help support a national discussion about racism. He said, “It turns out that Atticus is no saint, and none of us are, but a man with prejudices.” So far, any negative press has not slowed sales of Harper Lee’s work. The number one and two spots on Amazon’s bestseller list are filled by “Go Set a Watchman” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
1A 2B 3C 4A 5B 6C 7B