To Kill a Mockingbird - Plot summary

A white hand and black hand shaking hands.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee. Although it was written in 1960 it is set in the mid-1930s in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. It is narrated by Scout Finch, a six-year-old tomboy who lives with her lawyer father Atticus and her ten-year-old brother Jem. During the novel Scout, Jem and their friend Dill try to make their reclusive neighbour Boo Radley leave his house. Boo has not been seen in Maycomb since he was a teenager.

Many residents of Maycomb are racists and during the novel Atticus is asked to defend Tom Robinson, a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman. Atticus takes on the case even though everyone knows he has little hope of winning. The reader sees the trial develop through the childlike eyes of Scout, as gradually both she and her brother learn some valuable life lessons from their father about tolerance, empathy and understanding.