R. J. Palacio

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August Pullman

August Pullman is the ten-year-old protagonist of the novel. He has rare craniofacial anomalies known as mandibulofacial dystosis and something similar to Treacher Collins Syndrome, which primarily affect the way that his face looks. His… read analysis of August Pullman

Via Pullman 

Via, whose real name is Olivia, is August's fifteen-year-old sister. When August starts school at Beecher Prep, Via starts high school at Faulkner High School, a selective and academically challenging private school. When school… read analysis of Via Pullman 


Mom (Isabel Pullman) is Via and August's mom. Before she began homeschooling August she was a children's book illustrator, though August insists that her "boy" illustrations aren't that great. She's also not very good… read analysis of Mom


Dad (Nate Pullman) is August and Via's dad. He met Mom when they were students at Brown University, and they've been together ever since. August thinks his dad is a jokester and a comedian… read analysis of Dad

Mr. Tushman

Mr. Tushman is the principal of Beecher Prep, a private middle school in upper Manhattan. He's an older man with gray hair, and August describes him as perfectly normal-looking. Mr. Tushman also has a sense… read analysis of Mr. Tushman
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Jack Will

Jack is August’s best friend for much of the novel. He is one of the three kids that Mr. Tushman asks to lead August on a tour of Beecher Prep before the school year… read analysis of Jack Will

Julian Albans

Julian is the antagonist of the book and is August’s bully. Despite the fact that Julian is a known bully among the student body, teachers seem less aware of his bad behavior, as evidenced… read analysis of Julian Albans


Miranda was one of Via's best friends before they began high school. They hung out often with Ella and went to school together through middle school. Growing up, they hung out at Via's house… read analysis of Miranda


Justin is Via's boyfriend. He's shy, quiet, wears round glasses, and plays the fiddle in a zydeco band. Justin is an overwhelmingly kind individual; though his narration implies that he is initially somewhat uncomfortable… read analysis of Justin


Summer is one of August's closest friends at school. She sits with him on the first day of school because she felt bad seeing August eating alone, but she soon discovers that he's fun… read analysis of Summer

Julian's Mom

The novel implies that Julian is the way he is (rude, exclusionary, and mean) because his parents are that way—specifically his mom. After Jack punches Julian, Julian's mom is fine with Jack returning to school… read analysis of Julian's Mom


Grans is Mom's mom and Via and August’s grandmother. She's from Brazil, and prior to her death several years before the start of the novel, she maintained a very close relationship with both… read analysis of Grans


Charlotte is one of the three students that Mr. Tushman asks to show August around the school before the school year starts. She tries her best to be nice to August and answer all of… read analysis of Charlotte


Prior to the start of high school, Ella was one of Via's best friends. She, Via, and Miranda attended school together through middle school and were thrilled to all get into the same private… read analysis of Ella

Mrs. Garcia (Mrs. G)

Mrs. G is Mr. Tushman's assistant at Beecher Prep. Mr. Tushman insists she runs the school, which primarily implies that she runs the administrative aspects of Beecher Prep—she's the one kids go to when… read analysis of Mrs. Garcia (Mrs. G)


Eleanor is a "smart kid" who Via becomes friends with in her second week of high school. They knew each other in middle school, but Via didn't like her much then. Through Eleanor, Via gains… read analysis of Eleanor


Amos is one of the bigger boys in August's grade. Though he initially aligns himself with Julian and bullies August, he's also one of the first boys to actively stand up to Julian. At… read analysis of Amos

Ms. Petosa

Ms. Petosa is August's homeroom teacher. She left her job on Wall Street to teach middle-school math, and students are divided on whether she's a hard teacher or a nice one. Though she's very… read analysis of Ms. Petosa

Mr. Browne

Mr. Browne is August's English teacher at Beecher Prep. Every month he designates a precept for the month and leads students in exercises to think about what the precepts mean. Most of them encourage… read analysis of Mr. Browne


Henry is one of the most physically developed boys in August's grade; he's described several times as already looking like a teenager. He and Miles begin the school year as Julian's trusty sidekicks… read analysis of Henry


Miles is a hulking boy who begins the school year as one of Julian's sidekicks. He bullies August or is complicit in Julian's bullying until the class camping trip, which Julian doesn't attend. There… read analysis of Miles


Daisy is the Pullman's dog at the start of the novel. She loves everyone, especially August, and is extremely affectionate. Dad purchased her from a homeless man without consulting Mom, which becomes a… read analysis of Daisy


Eddie is one of the seventh-grade bullies from another school that August and Jack encounter at their camp's outdoor movie. He plays up his "fear" of August, rips August's sweatshirt, and even keeps August's hearing… read analysis of Eddie

Jack's Mom

Jack's mom is a social worker. She and her husband, Jack's dad, do what they can to put Jack and Jamie through private school, though money is tight for them, and they live in… read analysis of Jack's Mom
Minor Characters
Savanna is one of the most popular girls at Beecher Prep, as she already looks like a teenager. She leads her group of girls in actively excluding August, Summer, and Jack after Jack punches Julian.
Jamie is Jack's little brother. Although he is usually nice and friendly, he is mean to August and runs whenever he sees him, though Jack suggests that Jamie doesn't understand how mean he's being when he does this. He's in second grade.
Jack's Dad
Jack's dad is a teacher at a different school. He tries to be present for Jack by taking him sledding on snow days, but both he and Jack's mom work long hours to put their boys through private school.
Veronica is Jack and Jamie's babysitter. She tells Jack that he doesn't have to be actively mean to make someone feel bad, which is advice that Jack carries with him and tries to take to heart.
Christopher was August's best friend when they were small children. They grew their "Padawan" braids together when they were around eight years old. He has since moved away.
Zachary is one of August's friends from early childhood. He has since moved away, so August doesn't see him much anymore.
Alex is one of August's childhood friends. Like Christopher and Zachary, he has moved away, so August doesn't see him very often.
The Farting Nurse
The farting nurse helped with August's birth. Mom initially didn't like her because she never excused herself, but she ended up being one of Mom's greatest supporters in the hours and days after August's birth.
Summer's Mom
Summer's mom is nice, just like Summer is, and spends time with August's parents at school events. She tries not to stare when she first meets August, even though Summer prepped her beforehand.
Maya is one of August's classmates at Beecher Prep. She's the one who tells Summer about the Plague. Though Maya finds it ridiculous, she participates anyway, probably to fit in and avoid bullying herself.
The Two Maxes
Two of August's classmates at Beecher Prep, Max G and Max W. They both love Dungeons and Dragons and are therefore extremely unpopular and disliked by many of their more popular classmates.
Bear is a fluffy puppy that the Pullmans adopt to replace Daisy after her death.
Lisa is Christopher's mom.
Ximena is one of the smart kids at Beecher Prep.
Mr. Davenport
The high school theater director. He's emotional and angry much of the time, and responds with particular fury when Miranda refuses to go on stage for Our Town and has Via go in her place.
One of August's classmates at Beecher Prep. He's not very popular but is not as unpopular as the two Maxes.
One of August's classmates at Beecher Prep. He’s not very popular.
One of August's classmates at Beecher Prep. Like Tristan and Nino, Pablo is not very popular but is not as unpopular as the two Maxes.