by Gary Paulsen
Johnny, We Hardly Knew You
What is there to say about our poor, poor pilot? He's in the story so briefly, and we just don't get to know him that well. He sure seems like a nice guy—after all, he goes out of his way to chat Brian up, and he lets him try his hand at flying the plane—but he comes and goes so quickly that he hardly counts as a character at all.
He does what he needs to do, though, in terms of the narrative: he gets Brian in the air, teaches him the basics of flying, and then—we have to say it—drops dead right on cue so the story can progress. Ultimately, this guy gives his life for our book. He takes one for the team. If that isn't a great way to go, we don't know what is.