- Salamanca "Sal" Tree Hiddle
- Dad Hiddle
- Chanhassen "Sugar" Pickford Hiddle
- Gram and Gramps Hiddle
- Phoebe Winterbottom
- Ben Finney
- Tom Fleet
- The Finneys
- Mrs. Winterbottom
- Mr. Winterbottom
- Prudence Winterbottom
- Mike the Lunatic
- Margaret Cadaver
- Mary Lou Finney
- Mr. Birkway
- Sergeant Bickle
- Mrs. Partridge
- Grandparents Pickford
- Tommy and Dougie Finney
- Best of the Web
- Write Essay
Meet the Cast
Salamanca "Sal" Tree Hiddle
[SPOILER ALERT! Proceed with caution.]The FactsSal is our kickbutt narrator. In our humble Shmoop opinion, she's one of the all-time best young adult narrators. She is wise beyond her years, and sh...
We don't know a whole lot about Sal's dad. We don't see him very much, but we certainly hear loads about him through Sal's memories, and his relationship to Sal is probably his most important contr...
Chanhassen "Sugar" Pickford Hiddle
Sal's mom is a mystery. Like a patchwork quilt, she appears to us in little bits and pieces. Some of these bits and pieces show us a portrait of a woman who loves her life and her family more than...
Gram and Gramps Hiddle
[SPOILER ALERT! Proceed with caution.]My grandparents Hiddle were my father's parents, full up to the tops of their heads with goodness and sweetness, and mixed in with all that goodness and sweetn...
Kooky PhoebeOh, the Phoebster. Can't live with her, can't live without her. Phoebe is Sal's uptight best friend in Euclid. She's got an imagination the size of Antarctica. This imagination tends to...
Ben Finney is super dreamy, which is interesting given the fact that we have no idea what he looks like. We do know that he likes to draw pictures. And we know that he's Mary Lou Finney's cousin, a...
Tom is the boy who tries to rob Gram, Gramps, and Sal when they are swimming in a river in Minnesota. When a water moccasin bites Gram's leg in the middle of the robbery, Tom comes to her rescue. H...
Mr. and Mrs. Finney are Mary Lou's loveable parents. They are nothing like the Winterbottoms. In fact, they are the complete and total opposite of the Winterbottoms. Their household is absolute cha...
Mrs. Winterbottom is a fascinating character. She's is Phoebe's sad and lonely mom who eventually leaves her family for a time. And we can't really blame her for it. After all, everyone treats her...
In the beginning, Sal tells us that, "Mr. Winterbottom was playing the role of Father, with capital F. He sat at the head of the table with his white shirt cuffs rolled back neatly. He still wore h...
Prudence is exactly like her name would suggest. She's kind of pruney and complains all the time. Prudence is Phoebe's older sister who orders her mother around a lot. She is super self-absorbed, c...
Mike the Lunatic
Mike the lunatic is the young man whom Phoebe suspects of being a lunatic and stalking her family. She first encounters him right before her mother disappears: he visits the Winterbottom household...
The fiery redheaded monster who happens to be the Winterbottom's next-door neighbor turns out to be a very kind, normal woman. Sal spends most of the story hating Margaret Cadaver's guts because sh...
Mary Lou Finney
"One girl, Mary Lou Finney, said the most peculiar things like out of the blue she would say, 'Omnipotent!' or 'Beef brain!'" (3.12). Mary Lou Finney is the quirky girl in Sal's class who says thin...
Mr. Birkway is Sal's crazy awesome English teacher. He loves everything about teaching, and he loves everything about his students. He's one of those great teachers who is enthusiastic about everyt...
Sergeant Bickle is the policeman that Phoebe and Sal visit when they are worried that Phoebe's mom has been kidnapped. Sergeant Bickle doesn't take their suspicions seriously, but instead calls Pho...
Mrs. Partridge is Mrs. Cadaver and Mr. Birkway's blind mother. She lives next door to Phoebe (with Mrs. Cadaver) and she is very good at reading people, even without being able to see. She reminds...
Sal's grandparents on her mom's side are the polar opposite of Gram and Gramps Hiddle. Although we never officially meet them in this story, we get a few scooplets. They are very strict and proper,...
Tommy and Dougie Finney
Tommy and Dougie Finney are Mary Lou Finney's energetic younger brothers. They seem to create most of the chaos in the Finney household. They run around "like wound-up toys, making airplane noises...