New book to depict Harper Lee and Truman Capote's childhood friendship

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A new book for middle-grade readers will focus on the childhood friendship of celebrated American authors Harper Lee and Truman Capote. Tru & Nelle, by American young adult author Greg Neri, is inspired by the real-life bond that Lee and Capote shared as children while growing up as next-door neighbours in Monroeville, Alabama.

Although Lee and Capote's kinship as adults has been the focus of numerous books, films and documentaries, their friendship as children has been largely ignored - although Lee drew on it heavily in her depiction of Scout and Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird. "It was just kind of sitting there, and I couldn't believe no one had taken it on," said Mr. Neri of the relationship in The New York Times.

Tru and Nelle is set at the beginning of the Great Depression, when Capote is seven years old and Lee is six. Neri draws on their shared love of detective stories like Sherlock Holmes and the Rover Boys in the story, as the fictionalized Capote and Lee investigate a drugstore theft.

Neri's previous books for young adults include Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty and the free-verse novella Chess Rumble. Tru and Nelle will be released in spring 2016.

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