In R. J. Palacio's book Wonder, Via Pullman is the older sister of the story's protagonist, August Pullman. Via is just starting high school, and she is an independent young woman. She has to be. Her brother has been ill since birth and has gone through many surgeries. Her parents, therefore, have paid a lot of attention to him and not nearly as much to Via. Via, therefore, has learned to do things on her own. She doesn't ask for help with her homework; she can manage that herself. She doesn't need reminding about things. She organizes her schedule for herself and figures out how to get where she needs to go. She explains that this is just the way her life is and always has been. She has never known anything else but independence.
Via is also uncomplaining. She exhibits incredible balance and perspective for a girl her age. She doesn't whine to her parents or bug them about paying more attention to her. She doesn't bother them with the "little stuff," and she realizes that compared to what her brother has been through, her problems are all "little." After she has seen her brother go through all his surgeries, Via explains, "it feels kind of crazy to complain over not getting the toy you had asked for, or your mom missing a school play."
She also comments,
My worst day, worst fall, worst headache, worst bruise, worst cramp, worst mean thing anyone could say has always been nothing compared to what August has gone through.
It's not "being noble," she concludes. It's simply the way life is, and she accepts it with a maturity beyond her years.