Kenny is the narrator the the story. He is ten years old, and also in the 4th grade, once the story bring away place. That is superb reader, yet has a lazy eye that generally makes the the target the bullying. In spite of this, that is a bright and also compassionate child, and also even shares his lunches and also gloves through his friend Rufus. The is troubled by Byron’s “delinquent” behavior, and puzzled by Joetta’s unfailing defense of Byron, yet he likewise occasionally look at the quality in Byron, and it is Byron who ultimately helps Kenny to attend to the occasions of the story. Kenny matures considerably throughout the story.

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Byron Watson:

Byron is thirteen year old, however is still in primary school school, due to his gift held ago at the very least one grade. He is frequently sullen, and insists ~ above doing points that that knows will certainly upset his parents, including hanging out v Buphead, who appears to encourage this negative behavior. Regardless of Kenny’s evaluate of Byron together a permanent juvenile delinquent, Byron plainly cares because that his brother—at times protecting that from being bullied, and also even saving him native drowning. Byron, too, matures throughout the story, and also drops much of his bad attitude after the family’s roadway trip.


Joetta Watson:

Joetta is a kindergartener, and is dedicated to Byron, in spite of his poor behavior. She often defends Byron from the Watson parents’ punishments for him, also though she displayed an understanding of Byron’s misbehavior. The family largely tries come shield Joetta native the harshness the the world, even after she is almost affected by it in the events at the orgasm of the story.

Wilona Watson:

Wilona is the matriarch that the “Weird Watson” family. She is detail-oriented and also watches the family’s money carefully. She hails from Alabama, whereby her mommy still lives, and also is often cold in Flint, wherein the Watson household resides. She look at Alabama as a kind of utopia where numerous of the family’s problems would not exist.


Daniel Watson:

Daniel is the patriarch of the family, and is a chronic jokester. The loves nothing much more than acquiring a laugh out of the kids, and also out of a deep sense of love, takes pains to store Wilona happy.

Mrs. Davidson:

A neighbor of the Watson family, who is an especially fond the Joetta, and gives she a white angel doll.

Rufus Fry:

Rufus is a negative boy from the south, newly-arrived in Flint. His southern accent and obvious absence of clothing and possessions do him a target because that bullying, however Kenny soon warms as much as him, and also even share his food and gloves through him. He becomes the first real girlfriend Kenny has ever had.

Cody Fry:

Cody is Rufus’s tiny brother. Cody and Rufus only have actually one good pair the jeans between them, for this reason they take transforms wearing it, prompting teasing from other kids at school.

Grandma Sands:

Grandma Sands is Wilona’s mom who lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and thinks long-distance calls need her to shout right into the phone. Her strictly nature is judged to be the only thing that can amend Byron’s attitude, prompting the family’s trip.


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

Larry Dunn:

Larry is a bully who has actually been held ago at the very least one grade, and also often go after Kenny. As far as the school’s society standing goes, however, Larry ranks below Byron. Bryon bring away the opportunity 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 come learn around him, and also is somewhat hurt the her mother has actually a boyfriend, however Grandma Sands high solution reminds Wilona the she has actually been widowed because that 20 years, and also that she have the right to make her own choices.