© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

The House of Dies Drear

The House of Dies Drear


Virginia Hamilton

 Table of Contents


Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

The House of Dies Drear Characters

Meet the Cast

Thomas Small

Life is one big adventure for Thomas. He's moving to a new house in a new town on the day of his thirteenth birthday. As you might expect, he's feeling excited and scared, but mostly excited. He ha...

Mr. Small

HistorianMr. Small loves history. That's the first thing you need to know about him. Actually, he has history for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Plus, he teaches it to college students, and...

Mrs. Small

Mrs. Small is the strong-silent type. Like the other female character we meet in the story, Pesty, Mrs. Small is a bit of a mystery. We know she's so pretty that other women feel threatened by her,...

Billy and Buster Small

Billy and Buster are Thomas's twin brothers, and they're only toddlers. They are never seen apart, and we aren't given information on how to tell one from the other. Thomas definitely dotes on them...

Mr. Pluto / Mr. Skinner

Talk about a mystery. Mr. Pluto, the caretaker of the Dies Drear property, is one of the biggest mysteries of the story. Who is he? Is he good or evil? Is he the Lord of the Underworld? Pesty knows...

Mayhew Skinner

Mayhew is a professional actor, and the grown son of Mr. Pluto (Mr. Skinner). He's adventurous, mysterious, and fun. As you probably noticed, however, Mayhew is not all fun and games. He's lived ou...


Pesty is a special character. We don't meet many like her. Like Thomas, Mac, and Mayhew, she has artistic talent. As we learn in the church scene, her singing voice is extraordinarily beautiful. Sh...

McDonald M.C. "Mac" Darrow

Mac is a talented piano player, about Thomas's age. Thomas mistrusts him at first, but the more he sees him, the more he wants to be his friend. Mac is interesting because, like Mayhew, he's trying...

The Darrows

It's easy to see the Darrows as "the bad guys." They do some awful things – coming into the Smalls' house when they are sleeping, even breaking into Mr. Small's office, vandalizing the Small'...

Mr. Carr

Mr. Carr lives on land connected to both the Drear land, and the Darrow land. He was friends with Wilbur Darrow (one of Mac's brothers), but River Swift (the grandfather) didn't want him around, he...

Dies Drear

Dies Drear has been long dead by the time the book starts, but his memory – and maybe even his ghost – is totally alive. He was originally from somewhere in New England, the son of "an...

Great-grandmother Jeffers

This is Thomas's great-grandmother. He had a great relationship with her and wishes she had come with them to Ohio. He hopes he'll meet people like her in the new town.

Reverend Breckenridge

Reverend Breckenridge is the preacher of the church the Smalls have joined in Ohio. He has a beautiful speaking and singing voice. Thomas can tell his mother approves of the preacher. Reverend Brec...
Noodle's College Search
Noodle's College Search