Scout and Jem live in Maycomb county Alabama in the 1930's. Their father Atticus is a prominent lawyer and so they have not been hit very hardly by the Great Depression.
Tom Robinson is accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Atticus is chosen to represent him thus angering most of the town folk.
Because Atticus is representing Tom, many of the people in Maycomb get angry at him and threaten him. Jem and Scout come to be at the center of it with people bullying them and their entire lifestyle changing because Atticus is part of the trial.
Tom is found guilty at the trial despite loads of evidence suggesting otherwise. Jem and Scout realize that their society is filled with prejudice and injustice.
After the trial, Bob Ewell goes around harassing Atticus and Tom's family despite the trial being over and Tom getting killed. Jem and Scout became scared and think that he is a very dangerous man.
Instead of attacking Atticus, in the dark, on the way back from the pageant, Bob Ewell tries to attack Jem and Scout but ends up dying himself when Boo Radley comes out of the house for once and saves the kids.