One of the first things we learn about Rachel is that she is compassionate. She has a propensity for sticking up for the underdog, including her best friend Addie, whom all the fifth graders say has cooties, and little Evvie Powers whom the older children pick on. She is also described as "eager", and is adventurous and curious, with a great interest in traveling and seeing places like Boston and New York. Rachel is tenacious, patiently enduring the cold at Auntie Hoyt's house without complaining, so that her father would recognize her stoic nature and someday take her on bird trips with him, "to the coldest North and the hottest South and...the swamps of Florida". Finally, she is intelligent and imaginative, and loves to play creative games and make up stories with her brother Jerry, even though "she (is) a whole year younger".