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Pippi Longstocking Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Pippi Longstocking.
This section contains 1,605 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
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Pippi Longstocking Summary & Study Guide Description

Pippi Longstocking Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.

Pippi Longstocking is a nine-year-old-girl who lives alone in a small Swedish village, in a home called Villa Villekulla. Her mother died when she was a baby, so her father, a sea captain, raised her and took Pippi on his many voyages around the world. During one fateful voyage, her father fell overboard during a storm and was never seen again. Convinced he is a cannibal king on an island, Pippi returns home to wait for him because she is sure he will return to Villa Villekulla one day. When leaving her father’s ship, she takes a suitcase of gold coins and a little monkey, named Mr. Nilsson.

Next door to Pippi’s house is another home, situated in a garden. Two children live there, Tommy and Annika, along with their mother and father. They are obedient children, but want very badly to have a new playmate. They wonder why no one lives next door, but it isn’t until Pippi returns home after her father’s disappearance that they realize a playmate does, in fact, live there. The two children are mesmerized by Pippi’s appearance and fanciful stories, and they become fast friends.

The next morning, Pippi and her two new friends set out on an adventure to find things, because Pippi is a “thing-finder.” They set out hunting around the neighborhood for objects that are of interest or value, such as a rusty jar with holes – which Pippi explains are perfect for cookies. During the scavenger hunt, the three witness a neighborhood bully and his friends picking on a small boy. Pippi goes up to the bully and wants to know why he needs to pick on the boy while in a group. The bully, Bengt, is amazed that a girl would dare interfere, and turns his attention from the little boy to her. After he attempts to shove Pippi, she uses her immense strength to pick him up and hang him on a tree branch. Then, she picks up the other bullies and sets them all over the yard – and they just stare at her in fright. Since they have nothing more to say to her, Pippi, Tommy and Annika go back to Pippi’s garden.

The residents in the neighborhood are concerned about Pippi living on her own, so they decide to send two policemen to take her to a children’s home. When they arrive, Pippi is confused as to why they would take her somewhere she could not bring horses or monkeys. Her constant questioning begins to annoy the officers, and they tell her she must come with them. With that, she escapes and engages in a game of tag – but the officers aren’t amused. After she finds her way to the roof, the officers chase her up there, but don’t have a way down. They trick her into thinking they are done with the game, but once she brings them down they try to snatch her once again. Pippi, who no longer wants to play, picks each of the officers up in either hand and walks them out to the street. Shocked, the policemen return to town to tell the residents Pippi isn’t fit for a children’s home, and they resolve to leave her at Villa Villekulla.

When Tommy and Annika go to school, they wish Pippi would go too, since that would make the walks to and from school so fun. They feel badly that Pippi doesn’t go to school, so they decide to convince her to join them. After telling her of the vacations they get throughout the year, Pippi doesn’t want to feel left out from having Christmas or summer vacation, so she agrees to go. The next day, all three go to school, and once Pippi arrives the teacher tries everything she can to get Pippi to learn and stay on track. Pippi, with her constant stories and questions, frustrates the teacher beyond belief. Pippi captivates the students, but the teacher concludes that Pippi is too troublesome and unruly to belong in school. Pippi feels badly because she didn’t realize she was misbehaving, but leaves the school and goes home for the day.

Villa Villekulla has a beautiful, but not very well kept garden, and plenty of old oak and elm trees – which are perfect for climbing. One day, Pippi, Tommy and Annika are at Villa Villekulla and Pippi suggests climbing one of the trees. Pippi is adventurous as usual, but Tommy and Annika are hesitant to climb to great heights in the tree, out of fear of falling. Pippi convinces them to join her higher up, because she found a hollow part of the stump and it is the perfect hiding place. The three gather in the stump and the secrecy of the spot makes each of them very happy.

One warm September day, Pippi decides to take Mr. Nilsson on a picnic and takes Tommy and Annika with her. After coming to the perfect spot for a picnic, Pippi sets out an entire feast for all three to enjoy. Pippi sees a tall rock over in the distance and wonders if it is hard to fly. She climbs up the rock and flaps her arms in an attempt to fly, but isn’t so successful and falls to the ground. After she gets up, she finds that Mr. Nilsson has disappeared, and it makes Pippi angry. After all three split up looking for Mr. Nilsson, a bull finds Tommy and begins to charge him, but once again, Pippi uses her immense strength to get the bull away from him. After putting the bull to sleep, they find Mr. Nilsson in a tree and go home for the day.

When a circus comes to town, Tommy and Annika are very excited to go and want Pippi to join them. After explaining what a circus is to Pippi, she agrees to go. Once they arrive, the sights and sounds of the circus amaze all three children. As usual, Pippi wants to be involved in the acts, much to the chagrin of the ringmaster and women in the act. The ringmaster tries everything in his power to get Pippi to leave the circus, but she does not. Then, the Strongest Man in the World invites anyone from the audience to wrestle him for $100. Pippi volunteers after no one steps forward, and pins Adolf down multiple times, to his embarrassment. After Pippi wins the match, she decides she is tired and takes a nap during the rest of the circus.

After her display at the circus, the entire town is aware of Pippi’s strength. One evening, two tramps looking to steal something walk past Villa Villekulla, and since the lights are on, they want to go see if they may have a sandwich. Once they arrive at the door, they find Pippi in the kitchen counting all of her gold coins, and get the idea to come back and steal them when everyone goes to bed. When they come back that night, they aren’t prepared to deal with Pippi, who captures and ties them up. After she finds out that one of the tramps can dance, she asks him to dance and the second tramp to blow on a comb for music. After hours of dancing and making music, the tramps are desperate to leave Pippi – and she gives each of them a gold piece because they honestly earned it.

Mrs. Settergren, Tommy and Annika’s mother, throws a coffee party for the other women in the neighborhood and tells her two children they may invite Pippi so they have something to do during the party. Pippi prepares herself for good behavior, but from the start, she aggravates and bothers all of the women at the party with her behavior and storytelling. Mrs. Settergren tells the children to take Pippi upstairs, but Pippi does not go. Tired of the bombardment from Pippi’s stories, the women badly want to leave Mrs. Settergren’s party and as they do, Pippi shouts out her final parts of the story.

One afternoon, Pippi is alone because Tommy and Annika have gone to a party with their parents. She rides her horse into town and finds many of the residents looking anxious and scared. The tallest house in town is on fire, and two little boys are at the top of the burning building screaming for help. The townspeople are devastated because the two boys cannot be reached, so Pippi takes it upon herself to rescue the boys with the help of Mr. Nilsson. She swings on a rope up to the building and rescues the two boys, and the townspeople cheer for her as she makes her way down from the rope.

Pippi decides to throw a small party in honor of her birthday and she invites Tommy and Annika. The two children get dressed up and bring Pippi a wrapped present, and Pippi has two presents for each of them because it’s her birthday and she has a right to do what she wants. They enjoy a nice piece of cake and games, and then Pippi gets the idea to head up to the attic to visit ghosts. Tommy and Annika are frightened at first, but since they are with Pippi, they try to feel safe. After time, Tommy and Annika’s father come to Villa Villekulla to bring the two children home and they leave Pippi alone, but hear her shout out that she wants to be a pirate when she grows up.

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