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Melanie Ross has lived in the Casa Rosada apartment building since she was seven years old. She knows the neighborhood and its inhabitants inside and out—which makes her the perfect new friend for April. She's friendly and comfortable talking to anyone, so she's great at welcoming new tenants to the building:
Meeting people had always been easy for Melanie. Most people she liked right away, and they usually seemed to feel the same way about her. (3.3)
Her friendliness and willingness to give people a chance means that she accepts April, even though the new kid is a bit odd and difficult to get along with at first. And later on, she's the one who wants to include Elizabeth in the game because the younger girl is new and doesn't have any friends yet. She's always trying to make other people feel welcome.
Basically, every new kid's dream friend.
In addition to being a good friend, Melanie is also an excellent big sister. She never resents the fact that she has to take care of Marshall, and includes him in all her games—even though he's much younger. Melanie never tells Marshall to go away or to find his own friends; instead, she gives him the starring role of the young pharaoh in their game. That's one cool big sis.
And when Marshall is scared or worried—like when he misplaces Security—Melanie does everything that she can to reassure him:
Then Melanie had taken Marshall back to his bed and tucked him in. She wasn't at all sure that she believed Security was at the nursery school, and she knew that Marshall didn't either. But they had both tried to believe it as hard as they could. (18.8)
No matter what, Melanie is always there to protect and care for Marshall.
Melanie is also seriously into reading, and she'll devour as many books as she can get her hands on. That's a part of what brings her and April together—they both share a great love for books and can happily spend hours at the library together:
They read about Egypt in the library during the day, and at home in the evening, and in bed late at night when they were supposed to be asleep. Then in the mornings while they helped each other with their chores they discussed the things they had found out. (4.3)
It's through this thirst for knowledge that the girls are able to learn as much as they do about ancient Egypt. With all the information they've amassed, it's easy for them to bring the Egypt Game to life.
Fingers crossed Melanie keeps up that same work ethic in school, too.