Holling Hoodhood is the thirteen-year-old protagonist of the novel. At the beginning of the novel, he wants nothing more than to make it through the school year unscathed, and he fears that everyone is out… read analysis of Holling Hoodhood
Mrs. Baker is Holling's seventh grade teacher at Camillo Junior High School. As a teacher, she's demanding and, according to her students, soulless: she refuses to allow her students to decorate the classroom for… read analysis of Mrs. Baker
Meryl Lee Kowalski
Meryl Lee is one of Holling's classmates. According to Holling, she's in love with him and has been since the third grade. In reality, she makes mean jokes about hurting Holling and joins Danny… read analysis of Meryl Lee Kowalski
Danny Hupfer is one of Holling's classmates and friends. He's excitable and prone to exaggeration: he's one of the most ardent believers that Mr. Guareschi wants to be a dictator of a small country… read analysis of Danny Hupfer
Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister)
For most of the novel, Holling refers to his sister only as "my sister." She's sixteen years old and is constantly fighting with Holling and Holling's dad. She thinks Holling is gutless and naïve… read analysis of Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister)
Doug Swieteck is one of Holling's classmates. Like Doug Swieteck’s brother, Doug is a prankster: in sixth grade, he made a list of 410 ways to make a teacher hate you, and he… read analysis of Doug Swieteck
Prior to the start of the novel, Mrs. Sidman was just another teacher at Camillo Junior High School. However, after Doug Swieteck played a prank on her that dyed her face the color of a… read analysis of Mrs. Sidman
Mrs. Bigio is the school cook at Camillo Junior High School. Though her lunches leave a lot to be desired, she's a skilled pastry chef and all the students covet her cupcakes. Her husband, a… read analysis of Mrs. Bigio
Mai Thi is Holling’s Vietnamese classmate. She came to America the summer before seventh grade thanks to sponsorship from the Catholic Relief Agency. Because of this, on Wednesday afternoons, Mai Thi attends Catechism, even… read analysis of Mai Thi
Sycorax and Caliban
Sycorax and Caliban are Mrs. Baker's pet rats, given to her by Lieutenant Baker back when the rats were babies and still cute. In the present, they're huge, scabby, and have yellow teeth. Holling… read analysis of Sycorax and Caliban
Holling's mother is a quiet, timid woman who seems afraid of her husband, Holling's dad. She chain-smokes in secret, though both Holling and Heather are aware of her habit. She shows her love through… read analysis of Holling's Mother
Doug Swieteck's Brother
Doug Swieteck's brother is, according to Holling, part of "the penitentiary crowd." An eighth grader, Doug's brother has already been arrested several times and spent a night in jail. He hates school and does… read analysis of Doug Swieteck's Brother
Mr. Kowalski is Meryl Lee's dad and the lead architect at Kowalski and Associates, the rival firm to Hoodhood and Associates. He seems to be a sad and insecure man and even copies Holling's dad's… read analysis of Mr. Kowalski
Mr. Guareschi is the principal at Camillo Junior High School. According to the students, Mr. Guareschi's goal in life is to someday be the dictator of a small country. Holling notices that Mr. Guareschi uses… read analysis of Mr. Guareschi
Mr. Petrelli is Holling’s Geography and Social Studies teacher at Camillo Junior High School. He's a fan of "Data Collection Worksheets" and assigning projects titled "(Important Historical Event) and Me." Holling thinks this is… read analysis of Mr. Petrelli
Lieutenant Tybalt Baker
Mrs. Baker's husband, Lieutenant Tybalt Baker, is a soldier with the 101st Airborne Division fighting in Vietnam. When his airplane goes down, Lieutenant Baker is missing for months, but he is found and rescued… read analysis of Lieutenant Tybalt Baker
Horace Clarke is a Yankee player who Holling looks up to. To make up for what happened to Holling when he asked Mickey Mantle to sign his ball, Mrs. Baker arranges for Holling, Danny… read analysis of Horace Clarke
Mickey Mantle is a baseball player for the Yankees and is one of Holling's heroes. Around Christmas, he comes to the Baker Sporting Emporium to sign baseballs. Having just come from the play, Holling… read analysis of Mickey Mantle
Joe Pepitone is a Yankee player who plays catch with Holling, Danny, and Doug. Unlike Mickey Mantle, Joe Pepitone and his teammate Horace Clarke are kind to the boys.
Coach Quatrini is Holling’s gym teacher and cross-country coach at Camillo Junior High School. He's an abrasive man and regularly insults and belittles his students.
Mr. Vendleri is the custodian at Camillo Junior High School. Like everyone else, he's afraid of the rats Sycorax and Caliban.
Mr. Hupfer is Danny Hupfer's dad. He often supports Holling by driving him places and cheering for him.
Chit is Heather's short-term boyfriend. He has long hair and is extremely tall, though he drives a tiny yellow VW Bug. He and Heather run away to California to "find themselves," though he leaves her in Minneapolis.
A fifth grader with exceptionally beautiful handwriting.