Kenny is the narrator of the story. The is ten years old, and in the 4th grade, when the story take away place. He is an outstanding reader, however has a lazy eye that generally makes him the target of bullying. Regardless of this, the is a bright and compassionate child, and even shares his lunches and gloves through his friend Rufus. That is troubled by Byron’s “delinquent” behavior, and puzzled through Joetta’s unfailing defense of Byron, yet he additionally occasionally look at the goodness in Byron, and also it is Byron who at some point helps Kenny to address the occasions of the story. Kenny matures considerably throughout the story.

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Byron Watson:

Byron is thirteen year old, however is quiet in primary school school, due to his gift held earlier at the very least one grade. The is regularly sullen, and insists upon doing points that the knows will certainly upset his parents, including hanging out through Buphead, who appears to encourage this negative behavior. Regardless of Kenny’s assessment of Byron together a long-term juvenile delinquent, Byron clearly cares for his brother—at time protecting that from gift bullied, and also even saving him indigenous drowning. Byron, too, matures transparent the story, and drops lot of his bad attitude after the family’s roadway trip.


Joetta Watson:

Joetta is a kindergartener, and is specialized to Byron, despite his poor behavior. She often defends Byron native the Watson parents’ punishments because that him, also though she demonstrates an expertise of Byron’s misbehavior. The family largely tries come shield Joetta from the harshness of the world, even after she is almost impacted by that in the occasions at the climax of the story.

Wilona Watson:

Wilona is the matriarch the the “Weird Watson” family. She is detail-oriented and watches the family’s money carefully. She hails from Alabama, whereby her mother still lives, and also is regularly cold in Flint, whereby the Watson household resides. She look at Alabama together a kind of utopia where many of the family’s problems would no exist.


Daniel Watson:

Daniel is the patriarch of the family, and also is a chronic jokester. The loves nothing an ext than gaining a laugh the end of the kids, and out the a deep feeling of love, bring away pains to save Wilona happy.

Mrs. Davidson:

A neighbor of the Watson family, who is particularly fond that Joetta, and gives her a white point of view doll.

Rufus Fry:

Rufus is a poor boy native the south, newly-arrived in Flint. His southern accent and obvious lack of clothing and possessions do him a target because that bullying, however Kenny quickly warms approximately him, and also even shares his food and also gloves with him. He becomes the very first real girlfriend Kenny has ever had.

Cody Fry:

Cody is Rufus’s little brother. Cody and also Rufus only have one great pair the jeans between them, so they take turns wearing it, prompting teasing from other kids at school.

Grandma Sands:

Grandma Sands is Wilona’s mommy who resides in Birmingham, Alabama, and also thinks long-distance calls require her come shout into the phone. Her strictly nature is judged to it is in the only thing that can amend Byron’s attitude, prompting the family’s trip.


Buphead is Byron’s ideal friend in Flint, and also it is implied the he is leading Byron right into gang activity. That encourages bad behavior, and also supports Byron’s bullying—especially his bullying the Kenny.

Larry Dunn:

Larry is a bully who has actually been held ago at least one grade, and also often go after Kenny. As far as the school’s society standing goes, however, Larry ranks listed below Byron. Bryon take away the possibility to beat up Larry ~ Larry steals Kenny’s gloves.

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Mr. Robert:

Mr. Robert is Grandma Sands’s friend, who is living through her. Wilona is surprised to learn around him, and is somewhat hurt the her mother has actually a boyfriend, however Grandma Sands high solution reminds Wilona the she has been widowed because that 20 years, and that she can make her own choices.