The protagonist of the novel, Ishmael is a 14-year-old Year Nine student at St. Daniel’s Boys School. Ishmael lived a happy, idyllic life until a year before the novel begins, when he started at St… read analysis of Ishmael Leseur
Scobie is a boy who joins Ishmael’s Year Nine class at the beginning of second term. Ishmael immediately identifies him as someone who will be Barry’s favorite bullying target: Scobie wears his hair… read analysis of James Scobie
Bill is one of Ishmael’s classmates who also joins the debating team. Bill is an easygoing guy who exists mostly in his own world: he loves sci-fi and fantasy, so he seldom pays attention… read analysis of Bill Kingsley
Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto
Razza is the Year Nine class clown and, according to Ishmael, an obvious choice for the debating team. He wants to be either a politician or a standup comedian when he grows up, so… read analysis of Orazio “Razza” Zorzotto
The antagonist of the novel, Barry is the powerful bully in Year Nine at St. Daniel’s Boys School. Barry is tall, sporty, and blond, and he uses a combination of insults and physical intimidation to… read analysis of Barry Bagsley
Miss Tarango is a brand-new English teacher at St. Daniel’s Boys School. At first, Ishmael is certain she won’t last a term or a week, because Miss Tarango is young and beautiful and seems very… read analysis of Miss Tarango
Mr. Barker is the vice principal at St. Daniel’s. He also teaches Ishmael’s Study of Society class. Mr. Barker is an imposing figure; Ishmael notes that one simply doesn’t disobey Mr. Barker, as Mr… read analysis of Mr. Barker
Kelly is Ishmael’s love interest. She attends Lourdes School for Girls and is on her school’s debate team. Ishmael is immediately taken with her when he notices her icy blue eyes and her beautiful… read analysis of Kelly Faulkner
Ishmael and Prue’s dad is a supportive parent, though Ishmael acknowledges his dad has his faults. Dad believes the story of how Ishmael got his name is something he needs to share with everyone… read analysis of Dad
Prue is Ishmael’s little sister and Mom and Dad’s daughter. Ishmael describes her as a genius, or almost a genius, and many consider her to be “adorable.” For the most part, Ishmael has… read analysis of Prue Leseur
The Year Ten Kid/Jeremy Gainsborough
The “Year Ten kid,” Jeremy, is unwillingly roped into Barry’s scheme to frighten Scobie by filling his desk with insects and spiders. Jeremy won an award several years ago for an exhibit on insects… read analysis of The Year Ten Kid/Jeremy Gainsborough
Barry Bagsley’s mom takes Ishmael totally by surprise when he sees her at the end of school event: she’s beautiful, and she looks kind and engaged with her son’s life. In all ways, she’s… read analysis of Mrs. Bagsley
Peter Chung is a player on the St. Daniel’s football team. He’s a poor player, and it sometimes seems like he’s not sure how exactly football works—but he is an extremely fast runner. So, when… read analysis of Peter Chung
Danny is one of Barry Bagsley’s cronies; he helps Barry bully Ishmael and other kids at school.
Doug is one of Barry Bagsley’s cronies. He helps Barry bully other kids and doesn’t take school seriously.
Marty is a little boy from Moorfield Primary whom Ishmael rescues from Barry, Danny, and Doug’s bullying. Later, Ishmael discovers that Marty is Kelly Faulkner’s little brother.
Mr. Hardcastle (or Coach Hardcastle) is the football coach at St. Daniel’s. He’s obsessed with winning and has a poor grasp of what’s appropriate, or politically correct, to say.
Frankie Crow is the towering star player on the Churchill Grammar Boys School football team.
Brother Jerome is the principal at St. Daniel’s.