To Kill a Mockingbird
Reading Guide Ch. 1-8
1. In what state does the novel take place?
2. Why does the narrator give so much information about her family and background?
3. What is the general attitude in Maycomb?
4. Who is Calpurnia, and what is she like?
5. How old are Scout and Jem at the beginning of the novel?
6. Who is Dill, and what is he like?
7. Why are the Radleys a curiosity in Maycomb?
8. What did Boo Radley do at age 33 that landed him in jail?
9. Based on Sheriff Tate’s reason for not keeping Boo in jail, how do you think the townspeople feel
about black people?
10. How does Jem describe Boo?
11. What does Dill dare Jem to do?
1. What does Jem tell Scout on the first day of school?
2. Who is Scout’s teacher?
3. What does Scout get in trouble for on the first day of school?
4. What does Scout tell her teacher about the Cunninghams?
5. How does Scout feel the teacher feels at the end of the chapter? How does Lee let the reader
1. Who does Jem invite to lunch?
2. Why does Calpurnia scold Scout during lunch?
3. What scares Miss Caroline in class?
4. Why doesn’t Scout want to go back to school?
5. What advice does Atticus give Scout?
6. How does Scout describe the Ewells?
7. How is the law bent for the Ewells?
8. What compromise do Atticus and Scout make concerning school and reading?
1. How does Scout feel about school?
2. What does Scout find in the tree?
3. Who is Mrs. Dubose, and how does Scout describe her?
4. How does Jem get even with Scout for not believing him about “Hot Steams”?
5. What is the Boo Radley game?
1. Why does Scout want to avoid being called “a girl” by Jem and Dill?
2. Who is Miss Maudie, and what is she like?
3. What does Miss Maudie think of the Radleys?
4. Why do Dill and Jem want to give Boo a note? What does Atticus say when he finds out about
1. How do the children plan to spend Dill’s last night in Maycomb?
2. What does wrong with the children’s escape plan?
3. At whom does Mr. Nathan think he has fired his gun?
4. How do the children claim they have spent the evening?
5. What makes Jem decide to return to the Radley yard that night?
1. What new information does Jem provide to Scout (and to us) about “that night” at Boo Radley’s?
2. Name the five gifts that they find in the knothole.
3. What event puts an end to the knothole gifts?
4. Why does Jem become interested in the content of the knothole, especially since the items are
5. Why do you think Nathan Radley filled a knothole in a healthy tree?
6. Why do you think Jem cries at the end of the chapter?
1. Who dies this winter?
2. What “aberration of nature” frightens Scout?
3. What method does Jem devise to make a snowman? What was funny about the snowman?
4. When Maudie’s house begins to burn, what is the Finch family’s other concern?
5. What is Atticus’s reason for not helping to carry Miss Maudie’s furniture out?
6. Where does the blanket come from?