In part 1 of the story, Jem and Scout spend the majority of their leisure time together, playing games and exploring the rumors surrounding Boo Radley. As the story progresses, Jem hits puberty and begins to distance himself from Scout by spending more time alone with Dill, which is something Scout resents. In part 2, Jem matures and becomes a more tolerant, patient older brother. After witnessing the Tom Robinson trial, Jem loses his childhood innocence and becomes jaded with his racist neighbors.
In chapter 26, Scout mentions that Jem entered the seventh grade and that their daily trips to the Radley place came to an end. Since Jem is in the seventh grade, he attends high school and is on a completely different schedule than Scout. The only time Scout gets to see Jem and hang out with him are during their walks to school and at mealtimes. The activity that occupies the majority of Jem's time after school is football. Although Jem is too slender to play on the varsity team, he enjoys attending practices and is content carrying the team water buckets. Scout had previously described her brother as being "football crazy" and mentions that he carries the water with enthusiasm. Jem even stuffs himself with food and tells Scout that the coach said he could play varsity next year if he gains twenty-five pounds.