93 pages 3 hours read

Margaret Peterson Haddix


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2008

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Character Analysis

Jonah Skidmore

Jonah is the novel’s protagonist and one of the missing children from the mysterious plane in the prologue. Jonah has always known he is adopted and has an unconcerned attitude about this fact. His easygoing nature extends to matters other than his adoption. Jonah does not worry about things or planning, citing that deciding what to have for dinner is “way too much planning” for him (18). Jonah’s greatest concern at the beginning of the book is whether to try out for the basketball team at school. By the end of the story, Jonah cannot afford to be unconcerned anymore. Far from the basketball team, his concerns include his own wellbeing, as well as that of Katherine and Chip.

Chip’s discovery that he is adopted jumpstarts Jonah’s character growth. Initially, Jonah is hurt and angry for Chip and channels his concern by wanting to help his friend. When Reardon bullies Jonah’s family and upsets Katherine, Jonah tries to redirect the conversation to protect his family from Reardon’s threats. Jonah fights for others when they are scared or upset, but he is unable to do the same for himself—his greatest flaw.

When faced with something that directly threatens him or his understanding of the world, Jonah regresses.