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After more than a year on bestselling lists, Kathryn Stockett’s novel, The Help, has been named the top pick for the One Book/One Denver program. Selected by readers online from a list of three choices, the book chronicles the lives of black maids who raised white children into adults in Mississippi at a time when the Civil Rights movement was taking root, writes The Denver Post.
Last year’s choice was Harper Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. This year, voters bypassed two other possibilities, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski and Fine Just the Way It Is by Annie Proulx—both by regional authors.
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Released in 2009 to mixed reviews, as The Huffington Post noted at the time, The Help has been deemed cliché by some, and even racist for its reliance on heavy dialect for the voices of black women. (Stockett is white.) Others see it as a passionate dedication to the quiet lives of black women during an extraordinary period in American history.