Every spring, local residents have staged a play based on To Kill a Mockingbird in this courthouse in Monroeville, Ala. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Debbie Elliott/NPR

Harper Lee, seen here receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007, actually wrote Go Set a Watchman first. But she set it aside when her editor suggested focusing on Scout's flashbacks instead — and she did, in what became To Kill a Mockingbird. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images