Highly-anticipated, controversial Harper Lee novel hits shelves Tuesday

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- It's a highly-hyped book in the middle of a controversy.

Harper Lee's new book, Go Set a Watchman, goes on sale Tuesday. Some stores started selling it at midnight.

At the Huntsville Madison County Public Library, there's a waiting list of about 80 people to check out the book.

"It is the most hyped book... maybe since the last Harry Potter book," said Ann Marie Martin, the communications director for the library.

Librarians tell us these literary events are exciting because they turn reading into an enthusiastic public discussion.

Alabama Gov Robert Bentley has proclaimed Tuesday as ``Go Set a Watchman'' Day in the state to honor the release of Lee's new novel.

Bentley said Lee, who lives in Monroeville, is a great source of pride for the state.

``Watchman,'' was written first and contains seeds of the story that eventually became ``Mockingbird.'' The new novel traces character Scout Finch's return home in the 1950s.

Monroeville, the model for the fictional town of Maycomb in both books, has a full day of activities planned to celebrate the new book.