“I will begin my review of The Shade Tree by talking for a while about To Kill A Mockingbird, because I find it difficult to review the former without first mentioning the latter. Many of you have heard of Harper Lee’s award-winning novel; some may even have studied it in school, like I did. It’s set in the south of the States in the 1930s and discusses the themes of racism and class through the eyes of a young girl named Scout, watching and learning of the prejudices rampant in her small town.
How well it discusses race, though, is a question with different answers depending on who you ask. On the one hand, it’s a good thing that it talks about race in the first place: prejudice and antiblackness make up a good portion of the plot, with the characters cleanly divided between the good – those who aren’t racist – and the bad – those who are.”