© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Character Role Analysis

Paul Fisher and Joey Costello

Paul and Joey are both younger brothers of football stars. They both live in Lake Windsor Downs, and go to school together initially. But whereas Paul transfers to Tangerine Middle School and makes friends, Joey gets angry when some of the guys start messing with him, lashes out with racist comments, and leaves the school.

Paul even comments, "I took in the ugliness of Joey's words, and I saw, for the first time, how different he was from me—different parents, different friends, different brother" (2.11.32). Psst, Paul: We like you better.

Erik Fisher and Luis Cruz

Erik and Luis are both older brothers of kids on the Tangerine Middle School soccer team, but the similarities end there.

Erik is from Lake Windsor, Luis is from Tangerine.

Erik is an arrogant placekicker, who wants glory without having to work for it, while Luis has worked hard his entire life at something humble that he loves—growing tangerines.

Erik is horrible to his brother, while Luis is extremely close to Tino and the rest of his family. And Luis is also kind to Paul, and welcomes him into his world.

Paul compares them himself, when he writes his statement for the police:

I started writing about Luis, and what he meant to the people around him, and how they depended on him, and why they looked up to him. Then I tried to write the same thing about Erik. What did he mean to the people around him? How did they depend on him? Why did they look up to him? (3.15.2)

Sorry, Erik. Luis definitely wins this round.