The novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" is about a girl named Scout Finch who lives with her brother, Jem, and their widowed father Atticus, in the Alabama town of Maycomb. Maycomb is suffering through the Great Depression, but Atticus is a wealthy lawyer and the Finch family is financially fine in comparison to the rest of society. One summer, Jem and Scout become friends with a boy named Dill, who has come to live in their neighborhood for the summer. Dill becomes fascinated with the spooky house on their street called the Radley Place. The house is owned by Mr. Nathan Radley, whose brother, Arthur (Boo), has lived there for a long time without going outside.
Scout goes to school for the first time that fall and hates it. She and Jem find gifts apparently left for them in a knothole of a tree on the Radley property. Dill returns the following summer, and he, Scout, and Jem begin to act out the story of Boo Radley. Atticus puts a stop to their fun, telling them to try to see life from someone else's view before making judgments. But, on the last day of summer, the three sneak onto the Radley property, where Nathan Radley shoots at them. Jem loses his pants in the escape. When he returns for them, he finds them sewn and hung over the fence. The next winter, Jem and Scout find more presents in the tree, left by Boo. Nathan Radley eventually plugs the knothole with cement. Shortly thereafter, a fire breaks out in another neighbor's house, and during the fire someone slips a blanket on Scout's shoulders as she watches the blaze. Convinced that Boo did it, Jem tells Atticus about the mended pants and the presents.
To the dislike of Maycomb's racist town, Atticus agrees to defend a black man named Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping a white woman. Because of Atticus's decision, Jem and Scout are subjected to abuse from other children, even when they celebrate Christmas at the family compound on Finch's Landing. Calpurnia, the Finches' black cook, takes them...
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