The main character of the novel, twelve-year-old Miranda, is the only child of a single mother and vacillates between resenting her mother’s rather freewheeling personality and loving her uniqueness. Miranda is hyperaware of the feelings of others; as a result, she is able to form friendships with people others reject and to forge truces between bickering classmates. Her sensitivity leaves her vulnerable to heartbreak when she loses her friend Sal, but it is also the reason she can forgive Marcus for hitting Sal and can see in him the lost, unique individual that he is. She serves as a good protagonist because her sensitive nature allows her to discern parts of the story that would otherwise go unnoticed.
For most of Miranda’s life, Sal has been her best friend. However, he distances himself from her. Later he reveals that he had realized that they depended too much on each other and had no other friends. So he cut off ties with her in order to make friends with other boys his age. In the end, Miranda and Sal are able to be friends again. Sal serves as the main catalyst for the entire time-traveling plotline because Marcus travels through time to save his life. If Sal had not been on that street, there would have been no older Marcus returning save a life.
Annemarie is the girl Miranda befriends after she loses her friendship with Sal. Annemarie is a fun girl, but she is afflicted with epilepsy, which causes her occasional health problems. Annemarie is in need of a friend after she fights with Julia, so Miranda and Annemarie are conveniently matched. She illustrates how volatile friendships are for young girls and how they are often forged in strange ways.
The daughter of very wealthy parents, Julia is considered to be the school snob. Julia is originally best friends with Annemarie, but they separate after...
(The entire section is 763 words.)