PBS has announced the best-loved novel in America and it’s—drumroll, please—Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The high school English class staple was voted to the top of PBS’s The Great American Read survey by more than 7,200 individuals, beating out a diverse list of books that included everything from the Harry Potter series to The Handmaid’s Tale and even Fifty Shades of Grey.
To Kill a Mockingbird follows attorney Atticus Finch and his young children, daughter Scout and son Jem, as Finch defends a black man falsely accused of assaulting a white woman. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is currently adapting the novel for a Broadway run and summed it up best when he told PBS, “There is soul-crushing injustice in this book that still exists.” PBS called the book “a gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice.”
According to PBS, To Kill a Mockingbird was voted into the top slot on day one and stayed there for the entire five months of voting.
The other four finalists included (in order): Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series; J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series; Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series. Can we pause to recognize that women earned the top four spots in this nationwide survey?
The Great American Read was an eight-part series that culminated in the Mockingbird reveal (which you can watch here), but we’re mostly just jazzed that people are this excited about books.
You can check out the top 100 books in The Great American Read here.