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Characters

Meet the Cast

Jesse Aarons

The first thing we learn about Jess is his ambition to be "the best runner of the fourth and fifth grades" (4.2). And that's what drives him for the first several chapters of the book – being...

Leslie Burke

More than anything, Leslie's defined by her imagination and sense of adventure. She's open and ready for anything: ready to move to a new town and make new friends, to try new things, to create som...

Miss Edmunds

It's not easy being a teacher at Lark Creek Elementary – seems like the students will always find a reason to dislike them. Even though Jess thinks Miss Edmunds is beautiful and worships her, oth...

May Belle

May Belle is the only one of Jess's siblings that he has real affection for or tolerates. In turn, she "worship[s him]" (1.8). She's as lonely as Jess is, and also requires a friend: "I need somebo...

Janice Avery

Janice is the big seventh grade bully, the terror of the bus ride and the littler kids. She's big and mean, and at the beginning of the book we don't have much sympathy for the girl. Jess knows how...

Bill and Judy Burke

Bill and Judy are Leslie's parents. They're both writers, and they're kind of hippies in the same way that Miss Edmunds is. They have different values from most of the people in Lark Creek, and the...

Mr. and Mrs. Aarons

Mr. and Mrs. Aarons are Jess's parents, and they're both kind of ciphers, or blanks. We don't get a sense of knowing them that well. In fact, you might realize that we never even learn their first...

Brenda Sue, Ellie, and Joyce Ann Aarons

Brenda Sue, Ellie, and Joyce Ann are three of Jess's sisters, none of whom he really enjoys associating with. Brenda and Ellie are older and the best word to describe them is "obnoxious." They don'...

Mrs. Myers

Mrs. Myers is Jess and Leslie's fifth grade teacher. The first thing we hear about her is that she's super nice-acting on the first and last days of school – those are supposedly the only day...

Prince Terrien

That's right – you have to be a pretty cool pooch to get your own "Character Analysis" on Shmoop. Today's featured pup is Prince Terrien, the free dog Jess gets to give Leslie as a Christmas...

Guy Fulcher

Guy is another fifth-grader and, before Leslie arrives in town, is one of Jess's biggest running competitors. They could kind of be described as frenemies. Guy is bossy – he takes over organi...

Wanda Kay Moore

Wanda is another fifth grader and a snotty bully in her own way.

Wilma and Bobby Sue

Janice's friends and fellow bullies.

Willard Hughes

A seventh grader and the object of Janice's affection.

Wayne Pettis

Formerly, the fastest runner in the fifth grade. Now a sixth grader.
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