The Fisher Family
Understanding more about the characters and their relationships to each other can give you a clue to the main themes of the novel. The Fisher family is the core of the characters. Readers experience the book through one of its members while the others are key players in the events that unfold.
- Paul – The main character and narrator of the book. He has to wear thick glasses because something happened to his eyes when he was five. He loves to play soccer.
- Erik – Paul’s brother. He is a football star and lets it go to his head. He is also a bully and Paul is scared of him.
- Mom – Paul and Erik’s mom. She holds the family together. She is concerned about appearances.
- Dad – Paul and Erik’s dad. He is obsessed with the Erik Fisher Football Dream and overlooks a lot of things, including Paul, in his pursuit of a future football career for his son.
Lake Windsor Downs
Lake Windsor Downs is a character in its own right, a place where nothing is quite as nice as it seems once you get beneath the surface. These are all the people that the Fisher family encounters in their neighborhood and at school.
- Arthur Bauer – Erik’s friend. He is also a bully and will do anything Erik says.
- Page Bauer – A cheerleader, Arthur’s sister, and Erik’s girlfriend.
- Tina Turreton – A cheerleader and Arthur’s girlfriend.
- Coach Warner – Lake Windsor Downs High School football coach.
- Mike Costello – Football player. He seems to be an all-around nice guy and the opposite of Erik. He is killed by lightning during a football practice.
- Antoine Thomas – Star quarterback of the Lake Windsor Downs football team. At the end of the season, he reveals that he is actually a resident of Tangerine and has been illegally playing for Lake Windsor Downs.
- Terry Donnelly – Football player for Lake Windsor Downs.
- Mrs. Gates – Principal of Lake Windsor Downs Middle School.
- Coach Walski – Boys’ soccer coach at Lake Windsor Downs Middle School.
- Joey Costello – Mike’s little brother and Paul’s first friend in Lake Windsor Downs.
- Cara Clifton – Joey’s girlfriend.
- Kerri Gardener – Cara’s friend.
- Gino Deluca – Captain of the Lake Windsor Downs Middle School boys’ soccer team.
Neighbors and Others
- Bill Donnelly – Writer for the Tangerine Times. His home has been struck by lightning several times.
- Old Charley Burns – Dad’s boss who is fired for incompetence.
Paul’s transfer to Tangerine Middle School is a pivotal event in the book. Reviewing the relationships he forms with his new classmates and teammates can lead to a greater understanding of the novel as a whole. Remembering even smaller characters will help to create a full picture of Paul’s time in the world of Tangerine.
- Dr. Johnson – Principal at Tangerine Middle School.
- Betty Bright – Soccer coach at Tangerine Middle School.
- Theresa Cruz – Assigned to show Paul around Tangerine Middle School on his first day and in all of his classes. She eventually becomes one of Paul’s friends.
- Tino Cruz – Theresa’s twin brother. Tangerine Middle School soccer player. He eventually becomes one of Paul’s friends.
- Victor Guzman – Tangerine Middle School soccer player. Team captain, and one of the top scorers in the county. He is loud-mouthed and quick to start a fight, but unwaveringly loyal
- Henry Dilkes – Tangerine Middle School soccer player. Goes by Henry D.Visits the Cruz groves with Paul.
- Shandra Thomas – Tangerine Middle School soccer player. One of the female members of the co-ed team. She plays goalie and is one of the top players in the county. She is Antoine Thomas’ sister.
- Dolly Elias – Tangerine Middle School soccer player. One of the female members of the co-ed team.
- Maya Pandhi – Tangerine Middle School soccer player. One of the female members of the co-ed team and one of the top scorers in the county.
- Nita Shirali – Tangerine Middle School soccer player. One of the female members of the co-ed team.
- Mano – Tangerine Middle School soccer player.
- Hernando – Tangerine Middle School soccer player.
- Luis Cruz – Theresa and Tino’s brother. Creator of the Golden Dawn tangerine. He shares Paul’s appreciation for the county’s citrus trees.
- Tomas Cruz – Theresa, Tino and Luis’ father.Owner of Tomas Cruz Groves.