Noah is intelligent, knowledgeable, not socially adept, and argumentative. He's detail-oriented and enjoys a good argument with someone who is his equal. Noah learns kindness and generosity from the people he meets at his grandparent's retirement community.
Nadia is a beautiful, red-headed girl. She's very angry that her parents have just divorced, and she hurts other people because of this anger. She is brought out of her hurt and selfishness by baby loggerhead turtles that have been displaced by a storm. By attending to the needs of the turtles, Nadia is able to let her kind nature take over her angry one.
Ethan is a quiet boy who thinks the accomplishments of his older brother, Lucas, make him seem inferior to others. When his teachers compare Ethan to Lucas, Ethan always feels they're disappointed because he doesn't measure up to Lucas. Usually a loner, Ethan comes to Julian's aid when two other boys threaten Julian.
Julian is the outsider at school due to his upbringing on cruise ships and his education at boarding schools in England. His background makes him easy prey for bullies, but he faces his difficulties with courage and self-control. He is also a good magician and uses his magic tricks to amuse the other three children who are on the Academic Bowl.