Jasper Jones Book Summary, Themes, Characters & Synopsis

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Jasper Jones Book Summary, Themes, Characters & Synopsis

About the Book-Jasper Jones

TitleJasper Jones
AuthorCraig Silvey
Publication Year2009
PublisherAllen & Unwin
No. of Pages320 Pages
GenreComing-of-Age, Mystery
Setting1965, Corrigan, a small Australian town
Awards-Indie Book of the Year (2009)
-Western Australian Premier’s Book Award (2009)
-ABIA Awards Book of the Year (2009)


The main characters of “Jasper Jones” by Craig Silvey are:

  1. Charlie Bucktin ➜ The main boy in the story, who becomes friends with Jasper Jones and helps solve a mystery.
  2. Jasper Jones ➜ A mysterious boy who seeks Charlie’s help to uncover a big secret.
  3. Jeffrey Lu ➜ Charlie’s close friend, who is of Vietnamese descent and faces racism in the town.
  4. Eliza Wishart ➜ A girl Charlie has a crush on, and she’s linked to the mystery.
  5. Ruth Bucktin ➜ Charlie’s mom, who is worried about him and the town’s secrets.


The themes of “Jasper Jones” by Craig Silvey are:

  1. Friendship ➜ The book shows how friends support each other in tough times.
  2. Racism ➜ It explores how people can be treated unfairly because of their race.
  3. Growing Up ➜ The story is about kids learning about life and making choices.
  4. Family ➜ It looks at the relationships within families and how they can be complicated.
  5. Secrets ➜ The characters uncover hidden truths that change their lives.


Jasper Jones is about a young boy named Charlie who makes friends with a mysterious kid named Jasper. One night, Jasper takes Charlie to the woods and shows him something shocking.

This discovery leads them to uncover many secrets in their small town. The book is about their adventures, their friendship, and how they deal with the problems they face. It’s a story about growing up and learning about the world around them.


Jasper Jones surprises 13-year-old Charlie Bucktin late one night in the Australian mining town of Corrigan in the summer of 1965 by promising to take him to see something extremely wonderful in the wilderness. Charlie is intrigued by Jasper’s slight rebellious streak. It’s not entirely Jasper’s fault, of course; rebellion is a normal response to being put aside since, like Jasper, your ancestry includes both the white people who came to seize their country and the indigenous Aborigines. 

But on this particular evening, Jasper seems a bit more agitated than he usually is, and Charlie discovers why when he follows him to his hidden glade in the forest: Laura Wishart’s lifeless body is hanging from a tree. She appeared to have been beaten before being hung.

Jasper needed Charlie’s assistance in burying the dead, thus his unexpected appearance served a purpose. He is aware that he must dispose of the body otherwise he would be held responsible and receive the worst punishment. The two lads work together to attach the body to a large boulder at the bottom of a reservoir.

It doesn’t take long for the community to become aware that Laura has vanished, and even though most people believe she fled, a search is launched. Jasper is subjected to extensive questioning by the police, as is to be anticipated, but he is finally let go. Nevertheless, the community is starting to feel almost palpably bitter as everyone searches for someone to blame because they are afraid Laura won’t be the final victim.

Playing cricket with his best buddy, Jeffrey Lu, helps Charlie deal with his mental turmoil. Jeffery is a Vietnam native. When Jeffrey sought out a seat on Corrigan’s cricket team, it was made quite obvious that he wasn’t welcome, for example. Jeffrey, like Jasper, has dealt with more than his fair share of coping with distrust and paranoia produced by racial discrimination. Cricket turns out to be a relief for both Charlie & Jeffrey since the minute Charlie kisses Eliza, Laura’s younger sister, for the first time, Jeffrey wins the game.

Jasper, meanwhile, has come to believe that the murder of Laura was committed by a strange old man who lives alone and is said to have a troubled background. Jasper persuades Charlie to go with him to Mad Jack Lionel’s house, but when they arrive, they learn that the old man is Jasper’s grandfather and that he had a dark past that involved accidentally killing Jasper’s mother while driving too fast to get her to the hospital before she gave birth. Mad Jack Lionel has been shunned by the community, much like his grandson.

Another late night brought Charlie another unwelcome guest. Eliza is the victim this time, and he goes with her to Jasper’s glade. Charlie discovers the truth about what transpired the night Laura died while he was there. Eliza describes how her sister and their father got into a heated argument before Eliza’s sister fled to join Jasper. Eliza decided to accompany her to the glade where she witnessed her sister commit herself while carrying a child by her father. Eliza, who is in severe agony, admits that she attempted to save her but was unable to. Charlie is then inspired to admit what he & Jasper did with her body on his own. They both see Charlie’s mother having an intimate relationship with a man who isn’t her husband inside a car that same night.

While Charlie opts not to leave Corrigan as originally intended, he has no issues with his mother’s decision to go. Eliza demonstrates Laura’s suicide note to her mother as evidence of how violent their father truly is and issues a warning that if she chooses to do nothing about it, she won’t ever reveal the location of Laura’s body. Jasper also departs from town without telling anybody. He doesn’t appear to be missed save by Charlie.

About the Author-Craig Silvey

Full NameCraig Silvey
Date of BirthJanuary 1, 1982
Place of BirthPerth, Western Australia
EducationNotable school attended: Scotch College, Perth
Famous Works– Jasper Jones (2009)
– Rhubarb (2004)
– The World According to Warren (2007, as illustrator)
Literary GenreFiction, Young Adult

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