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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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The novel To Kill a Mockingbird begins with narrator, Scout Finch, introducing to the reader her brother Jem, her father Atticus, and her town, Maycomb, Alabama. She tells us a little of her family history, and then begins her story : It is the summer of 1933. Scout is five, and Jem is nine. They pass the summer happily with their new friend Dill, a six-year-old boy who has moved into their neighborhood for the summer. They are very curious about one of their neighbors, Boo Radley, who hasn't been seen by any one for years. The children are scared of Boo because of the morbid legends about him. Dill resolves to get him to come out of his house, but nothing comes of it that summer. Scout dislikes school from the first morning. A few times when Scout and Jem walk home from school, they discover small gifts in the hollow oak tree at the edge of the Radley yard. When Dill returns for the summer, the children devise a new game of acting out their own version of Boo's story. One night they sneak up to the Radley house to look in at a window. Mr. Radley, Boo's uncle, chases them off with a shotgun, and as the children flee Jem's pants get stuck in a fence and left behind. Later when Jem retrieves them, he finds that Boo clumsily mended them where the fence tore them. When school begins again, Scout and Jem find more trinkets in the tree. They write a thank you note to whomever is leaving the things for them, but Mr. Radley cements up the knot hole. During the winter it snows and Jem builds a snow man by making a form out of mud and then covering the mud with snow. The house of Miss Maudie, a friendly neighbor, burns down that night. While the children watch the fire from the street in front of the Radley's house, Boo Radley puts a blanket around Scout without her noticing. When Atticus, an attorney, is assigned to defend Tom Robinson, a innocent black man accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, the children are ridiculed by their classmates, other towns people, and even their cousin about their father being a 'nigger-lover.'; Atticus advises the children to not let the insults bother them. Scout and Jem feel a little ashamed of their father, but when they find outthat he is famous around town for his markmanship, they become proud of their father for being who he is.
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