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To kill a mocking bird chapter summaries

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To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee Honors

English Summer Homework

Chapter 1-11 Summaries

Chapter 1

Scout, the main character, starts the story off by thinking back to the summer where her brother, Jem, had broken his arm. She looks back to all the things and events that lead up to this mishap. Scout introduces us to her home Maycomb, Alabama and some of its interesting townsfolk like her father Atticus Finch, Calpurnia, Dill, The Radleys, and other neighbors. Her father, Atticus, works in town as a lawyer and Calpurnia is the Finches African American housekeeper who also looks after Scout and Jem.

Dill is from Meridian, Mississippi and visits his aunt every summer, Miss Rachel, who is also the Finches neighbor. The Radleys are somewhat mysterious and alienated. As Dill comes to Maycomb he sparks interest in the Radleys, beginning all of their games and schemes to attempt to make Boo Radley come outside.

Chapter 2

Dill goes back home to Meridian in early September and Scout is very excited to go back to school. On her first day her teacher, Miss Caroline, is appalled to see Scout can read and write. It is near lunch and Miss Caroline notices everyone has his or her lunch except Walter Cunningham.

Miss Caroline offers Walter money as long as he pays her back, however knowing he cannot pay her back he refuses the money. Scout then decides to speak up, explain he is a Cunningham and being poor and does not have any money. Because of Scout speaking out she is punished and must stand in the corner.

Chapter 3

Scout is in the playground rubbing Walter’s nose in dirt, until Jem comes to stop her. Jem then finds out that Scout is doing this because of their incident in class, so Jem invites him to have lunch with their father.

During lunch Scout in scolded by Calpurnia for belittling Walter’s eating habits. The next day at school Miss Caroline had an issue with Burris Ewell when he only comes for the first day of school. Because of Burris, Scout talks with Atticus to try and convince to not go to school, but doesn’t succeed.

Chapter 4

One day on Scouts way home something shiny catches her eye. At the edge of the Radleys place she finds two pieces of gum in the knothole of a tree. Jem then reproached Scout for not only taking but also eating the gum, but she still checks the knothole everyday.

On the last day of school Scout and Jem pass by the tree and find two shiny Indian head coins and decide to keep them till next school year to find their owner. Dill arrives in Maycomb two days later so he, Jem, and Scout play a new game pretending to be the Radleys, but once Atticus finds out about their game, they started to play less. When Scout was playing with Jem and Dill she accidently rolls into the Radley’s front yard, she actually hears laughing coming from the Radley house.

Chapter 5

After Jem, Scout and Dill decide play their Radley game less frequently however, Scout starts being excluded from the boy’s plots and conversations.

Because of this Scout begins to spend more time with her neighbor, Miss Maudie. During her time with Miss Maudie, Scout asks many questions about the Radleys. Then one day Jem and Dill plan to leave a letter at the Radley house asking Boo Radley to come outside. After Scout badgers the boys to tell her their plan, she insists on joining them on their plot. Dill and Scout act as lookouts as Jem tries to put the letter through the loose shutter of the Radley House. But their attempt fails when Atticus catches the children; he goes on by telling the kids to stay out of the Radleys business.

Chapter 6

It is Dills last day of summer at his aunt’s house in Maycomb when he and Jem decide to observe the Radleys through the loose shutter at the side of the house. After Scout’s failed attempt to stop the boys, she decides to join their scheme. As they continued to spy on the house they hear a single gunshot and scramble away, attempting to get out of the Radley’s property. While they struggle to escape, Jem catches his pants on the wire fence, making him have to strip out of his pants in order to get away. Coming from the house they rush to see what the commotion was about, having discovered the gunshot had been from Mr.

Radley shooting at a Negro, however missed only scaring him. Later one night, Jem chooses to go back to the Radley place to retrieve his pants from the fence even after Scouts objection toward the idea. Jem still returns with his pants in hand having safely reclaim his pants.

Chapter 7

A new school year starts and Scout goes into the second grade less than pleased. One day on her walk home from school with Jem, he admits to Scout that the night he had retrieved his pants from the Radleys he found something very odd.

His pants had actually been patched, folded, and left on the porch instead of being cut up and left by the fence, it was as if someone has been waiting for him knowing he would return. As days go one Jem and Scout find many valuables inside the tree knothole, at the edge of the Radley’s property. They first find a ball of twin that they keep once no one had claimed it. Then they find both of their images carven into soap, and finally they find a tarnished pocket watch that they show Atticus. Jem and Scout decide to leave a thank you note to whoever is leaving the gifts for them.

The next morning, when they go to put the letter in the knothole, they come upon Mr. Arthur Radley discovering her had filled the knothole up with cement.

Chapter 8

It is winter in Maycomb and Scout and Jem experience their first ever snowfall. School is canceled due to the snowfall so Jem and Scout play outside making a snowman. They are woken up early the next day by Atticus who tells them to get dresses and hurry outside. There they see Miss Maudie’s house engulfed in flames. Scout is so engrossed by the fire that she doesn’t even see Boo Radley kindly come up and put a blanket around her shoulders.

The next morning Jem and Scout come outside shocked to see Miss Maudie in a great mood, only talking about how to improve her garden, as if acting like the fire was nothing at all.

Chapter 9

Scout and classmate Cecil Jacobs get into dispute when Cecil accuses Scouts father of “ defending a nigger. ” Although Scout is pushed to extreme levels of rage, she refrained from throwing her fist, remembering her promise to Atticus to stop her fighting. Its is now winter and the Finches spend their Christmas with their Uncle Jack, Uncle Jimmy, Aunt Alexandria, and their grandson Francis.

During their holiday Francis begins taunting Scout, calling her father a “ nigger- lover” multiple times, so Scout decides to ignore his offensive comment. After Francis’s constant name calling Scout cracks, punching him in the face. Scout is then punished for her ill-mannered behavior, without a chance to defend herself. As Uncle Jack talks to Scout she informs him of Francis’s name calling, asking him to promise not to tell Atticus. Late that night as Scout goes down for a glass of water she overhears Atticus and Uncle Jack talk about Tom Robinson’s trial.

Chapter 10

Atticus is not like many other fathers. He is now just about 50, being much older than most of the other fathers. In Jem and Scouts eyes he doesn’t do anything, they start to question their father’s abilities. Atticus doesn’t play poker, fish, hunt, or drink like their other classmates parents, instead he chooses to stay home and read, he works at an office rather then a drugstore. Scout and Jem’s views slightly chance when they talk to Miss Maudie, discovering their father can play the Jew Harp. Once Saturday, Jem and Scout go exploring with their toy rifles they received from Uncle Jack.

As they wander down the road when they see a crazed dog named Tim Johnson. Once the dog had made its way parallel to the Radley’s house, the townspeople decided to take the dog out. As a result of the dog’s position, they needed one accurate shot to take the dog out and keep the Radleys safe. They all call upon Atticus calming he was known as “ One- Shot Finch” and not having shot a bullet in over 30 years. Atticus takes the rifle and makes the one shot killing the dog. Scout and Jem learned that their father actually did things when he was younger, no their views have changed even more.

Chapter 11

As word starts to spread of Atticus’s trial with Tom Robinson, many more people seem to ridicule Jem and Scout. Mrs. Dubose lives down the street, ill, and living with an African- American girl. When passing by Mrs. Dubose, she would be on her porch scolding and lecturing the children on their behavior. One day as Jem and Scout walked by, Mrs. Dubose yells at the Finch kids calming their father is no better then a nigger. Because of this comment Jem returns to Mrs. Dubose’s house ruining all of her flowers, cutting them up, and leaving them scattered on the porch floor.

While Jem continues to tear apart Mrs. Dubose’s porch, Scout shrieks, only causing Jem to grab her hair and tell her to keep shut. Once Scout and Jem return home Atticus hears of Jem’s bad- mannered actions, forcing Jem to read to Mrs. Dubose for a moth as punishment. After Jem’s month long punishment he discovers Mrs. Dubose has passed away mere hours after he had finished reading. Atticus was at her house when she had died, she asked Atticus to give Jem a box, the box had contained the flowers Jem had torn up.

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