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Scout and Jem had a pretty nice childhood. Still they had challenges. Atticus was not like most fathers. Instead of playing baseball or football, he would read. While this frustrated Scout and Jem on the surface, it was really a special thing. Atticus was a progressive, enlightened humanitarian who saw the best in most people including his kids. Scout and Jem had to struggle with their father;'s insistence on doing the right thing. In the midst of a racially bigoted American South, he defended a black man on the unspeakable charge of raping a white girl. This put Scout and Jem on the defensive. Still, Atticus was able to gently guide his children through this struggle of the racially charged trial.