Elijah Freeman is a mischievous young boy born in Buxton, Canada, whose naivete allows him to see contradictions in truths that adults take for granted in the book by Christopher Paul Curtis. He is playful and likes to play jokes on people but gets upset if jokes are played on him. When he has a chance to do something his parents won't like--at all--he agrees to it if he has assurance that the other person will take all the blame. Elijah is an engaging character who is always growing and developing. Despite his weaknesses, Elijah's biggest personal asset is that he wants to be a responsible person, which inspires him to try to control his emotions and behave well.
Elijah Freeman is the main character of the book. He is a very mischievous eleven-year old. He loves to play pranks on people, like putting toads in his mother’s sewing basket, but feels very persecuted when someone else plays a prank on him. Elijah grows as a character from a boy who can’t easily see other people’s perspectives and takes his freedom for granted to being able to see just exactly what an atrocity slavery is. Eventually, seeing slaves shackled in a stable helps him to understand just what slavery and freedom means and to value his born freedom.