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The novel describes Calvin, who will become close to the Murry family, as tall and skinny, with bony wrists. He has recently had a growth spurt, as his pants are three inches too short and his wrists stick out from his sweater. He has orange hair that needs to be cut, freckles and bright blue eyes. He plays on the high school basketball team. Although only 14 years old, he is already in the eleventh grade. Calvin has a strong hand that makes Meg feel protected when he puts it on her elbow. Mrs. Who tells Meg to feed Calvin, which indicates he is a little too thin. He has a big smile that Meg sees as "enormous." She calls him "handsome." He radiates enthusiasm, especially for Meg and her family.

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