The main character is Holling Hoodhood. He is a 7th grader at his school, and he happens to be the only Presbyterian at a school filled with either Catholic or Jewish students. He has a sister, but readers do not discover her name until very late in the novel. Her name is Heather, and she and Holling antagonize each other like a stereotypical brother and sister. She is older than Holling and tests the boundaries with her parents repeatedly. She is more or less a developing hippie. Holling's parents are present in the novel, but not in any major way. Mrs. Hoodhood is a flat character that doesn't express her own wishes or desires. She goes along with whatever Mr. Hoodhood demands. Mr. Hoodhood is an architect and incredibly ambitious in that career. That ambition comes at a cost. He is not a great father figure to Holling or Heather. Although Mrs. Baker, Holling's English teacher, doesn't get along with Holling in the beginning of the novel, she winds up being a sort of surrogate parent to Holling. She does have a husband, but he is overseas fighting in the Vietnam War. Holling is not a super popular kid at school, but he does have three very close friends. They are Danny, Meryl Lee, and Doug. Doug's older brother is another major character in the book, and he is the school's bully.