Kenny is the narrator that the story. That is ten years old, and in the fourth grade, as soon as the story take away place. He is an outstanding reader, but has a lazy eye that commonly makes that the target that bullying. Despite this, the is a bright and also compassionate child, and also even share his lunches and also gloves v his girlfriend Rufus. He is troubled by Byron’s “delinquent” behavior, and also puzzled through Joetta’s unfailing defense of Byron, but he additionally occasionally look at the kindness in Byron, and also it is Byron who ultimately helps Kenny to resolve the occasions of the story. Kenny matures substantially throughout the story.

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Byron Watson:

Byron is thirteen year old, however is quiet in primary school school, because of his being held back at least one grade. He is frequently sullen, and insists ~ above doing things that he knows will upset his parents, consisting of hanging out through Buphead, who appears to encourage this negative behavior. Despite Kenny’s assessment of Byron as a long-term juvenile delinquent, Byron plainly cares because that his brother—at times protecting the from being bullied, and even conserving him from drowning. Byron, too, matures throughout the story, and drops lot of his bad mindset after the family’s roadway trip.


Joetta Watson:

Joetta is a kindergartener, and also is committed to Byron, in spite of his negative behavior. She regularly defends Byron native the Watson parents’ punishments for him, also though she displayed an understanding of Byron’s misbehavior. The family largely tries to shield Joetta native the harshness of the world, also after she is almost impacted by that in the events at the orgasm of the story.

Wilona Watson:

Wilona is the matriarch that the “Weird Watson” family. She is detail-oriented and also watches the family’s money carefully. She hails native Alabama, wherein her mom still lives, and also is regularly cold in Flint, wherein the Watson household resides. She watch Alabama together a kind of utopia where countless of the family’s problems would not exist.


Daniel Watson:

Daniel is the patriarch that the family, and also is a chronic jokester. The loves nothing much more than acquiring a laugh out of the kids, and also out of a deep sense of love, take away pains to keep Wilona happy.

Mrs. Davidson:

A ar of the Watson family, who is particularly fond of Joetta, and also gives she a white point of view doll.

Rufus Fry:

Rufus is a negative boy native the south, newly-arrived in Flint. His southerly accent and obvious absence of clothing and also possessions do him a target for bullying, but Kenny quickly warms as much as him, and even share his food and also gloves through him. He i do not care the first real girlfriend Kenny has ever had.

Cody Fry:

Cody is Rufus’s little brother. Cody and Rufus only have actually one an excellent pair of jeans between them, therefore they take transforms wearing it, prompting teasing from other youngsters at school.

Grandma Sands:

Grandma Sands is Wilona’s mom who stays in Birmingham, Alabama, and also thinks long-distance calls call for her come shout right into the phone. Her strict nature is judged to be the just thing that could amend Byron’s attitude, prompting the family’s trip.


Buphead is Byron’s best friend in Flint, and also it is implied the he is leading Byron right into gang activity. The encourages poor behavior, and also supports Byron’s bullying—especially his bullying that Kenny.

Larry Dunn:

Larry is a bully who has been held back at least one grade, and also often go after Kenny. As much as the school’s society standing goes, however, Larry ranks below Byron. Bryon bring away the chance to beat up Larry after Larry steals Kenny’s gloves.

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Mr. Robert:

Mr. Robert is Grandma Sands’s friend, that is living v her. Wilona is surprised come learn around him, and is somewhat hurt the her mother has a boyfriend, however Grandma Sands sharply reminds Wilona that she has actually been widowed because that 20 years, and that she deserve to make her own choices.