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Minor Characters in Chrissa's Stories

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These are minor characters in the Chrissa Maxwell books and movie.


Amanda is Chrissa's best friend in Iowa. In the movie, she makes Chrissa a friendship bracelet. She is blonde and slightly plump; in the movie, she comes to visit Chrissa, Gwen, and Sonali in Edgewater. She is seen at the end, only slightly.

Mr. Beck

Mr. Beck is Chrissa's fourth-grade homeroom teacher and swim coach. He is African-American. In the books, it is revealed that he is married when he mentions going home right after school for a Valentine's Day date with his wife.

He is portrayed by Don Franklin in the movie.

Tara James

Tara is the leader of the Queen Bees, which is usually called the Mean Bees. She has been friends with Sonali since preschool; in the movie, the three girls have all known each other from preschool. Tara is very spiteful and malicious, and goes out of her way to bully Gwen and Chrissa. Also, Tara thinks of herself as perfect, and her friends' reassurance only boosts her arrogance more and more. She believes she is better than the other students. In one incident, she cuts off Gwen's bangs, and in the movie, she taunts Tyler into doing a difficult dive without supervision and causes him to go to hospital. Tara's attitude is enforced by the fact that her mother thinks she can do no wrong, and thus, Tara thinks the same. In the film, it is mentioned that her mother is a hairdresser; in the book, when the principal has a meeting with the girl's parents, it is stated that her mother owns and runs several hairdressing studios and salons. Tara is on the swim team and competes fiercely with Chrissa; they are the two best swimmers.

In the movie, Tara is portrayed by Adair Tishler. In both book and movie, she has blonde hair and blue eyes. In the book, she is described as very petite and very pretty.


A friend of Tyler's. In the books, he is in Chrissa's class; in the movies he is never in the class scenes. He is African-American.

He is played by Christain Pikes in the movie.

Jadyn Johnson

Jadyn is Tara's friend and a fellow Bee. She does whatever Tara says. Compared to Tara and Sonali, she has barely any character development. She does, however, think that Tara is beyond perfect and will do whatever Tara tells her to do. She has a pink Motorola RAZR in the movie, like Sonali. Chrissa thinks she talks with an upward inflection so as to make every sentence sound like a question.

Jadyn is also very skilled with computers, as is revealed in the second book.

In the movie, Jadyn is portrayed by Shelby Harmon. In the book she has dark-brown hair and jade-green eyes; however, in the movie she has blonde hair. Also, her name is changed to Jayden.

Mr. and Daria Johnson

The Johnsons are computer experts who do Web design. They helped Mr. Beck set up a message board for the swim team as well. Chrissa describes their house as being filled with printouts and computer equipment; Mr. Johnson is presumably a Twins fan because he is wearing a Twins cap. Mr Johnson is introduced in the first book, where he comes to the meeting after Tara, Jadyn, and Sonali gang up on Gwen and Tara cuts her bangs. He is described as being bald, thick-necked, and looking annoyed at having to go into the meeting.

They are not seen or mentioned in the movie.

Louise Hanlon

Meg's mother, whom Chrissa calls "Nana." She gives Chrissa good advice about friendship. Nana raises mini-llamas and spins their hair into yarn; she and Chrissa's grandfather used to raise full llamas but with his illness and later death she has gone to mini-llamas.

She is portrayed by ​Michael Learned in the movie.

Mrs. Matthews

Sonali's mother. Her parents are from India and she is a realtor. In the film, she is very disapproving of Sonali's friendship with Tara and Jadyn; only after Sonali becomes Chrissa and Gwen's friend does she appear to be proud of her daughter.

She has three daughters including Sonali; the older two are in college. She becomes good friends with Gwen's mother after helping the Thompsons find an apartment.

Mr. Matthews

Sonali's father. Very little is known about him other than the fact that he is some kind of businessman (in one scene, he wears a tie and has "well-groomed fingernails"). Due to his Western last name, it is possible that Sonali is only part Indian.

Meg Maxwell (née Hanlon)

Meg is Chrissa's mother. She has dark hair, and works as a doctor at St. Luke's Hospital in Edgewater, Minnesota. Louise Hanlon is her mother.

In the movie, when Chrissa quit the swim team because of Tara, Meg made Chrissa realize that it made her be less than who she is; Meg knew that because that's how she had been bullied.

In one scene, Meg tells Chrissa about when she was a kid and was getting the highest grades in her class; her classmates started calling her names like "Egghead", "Brainiac", "Bookworm" and "Miss Square", so she started failing instead of succeeding (in order to make them stop teasing her). However, she began to realize that it'd made her feel less than who she was.

Meg tells Chrissa that it's never smart to be less than who you are, or to let anyone take anything away from you.

She is portrayed by Annabeth Gish in the movie.

Paul Maxwell

Chrissa's father. He is a ceramic artist and makes pottery under the name of Maxwell Pottery.

He is played by Timothy Bottoms in the movie.

Tyler Maxwell

Chrissa's brother. He is eleven months older and in the fifth grade. Tyler is somewhat nerdy and specializes his knowledge in planetary bodies and outer space. He also doesn't easily pick up on body language and Chrissa says that he isn't so smart at figuring out other kids. Due to this, the Queen Bees use him to get to Chrissa.

He is played by Austin Thomas in the movie.

Mrs. Rundell

Chrissa's art teacher. She is rather eccentric and has a "magic" wand she waves around in class. Chrissa loves art class and Mrs. Rundell is among her favorite people at Edgewater Elementary.

She is played by Jennifer Tilly in the movie

Janine Thompson

Gwen's mother. She lost her house and lived in her car with Gwen for several months while she worked as an office manager. Once winter came, Janine had to take herself and Gwen to the homeless shelter, Sunrise House. Sunrise House turned her life around and helped her get a new job and, near the end of the film and first book, move into an apartment. Janine's husband left her and Gwen in the books after he lost his job; in the movie, she simply says that she lost her husband, implying death.

She is played by Jennifer Parsons in the movie.

Mrs. Ziminsky

The principal of Edgewater Elementary. In the movie, she suspends Tara for three days because of her behavior, while Sonali and Jayden get suspended for one day (after she tells them that what had happened wasn't the first time Tara, Sonali and Jayden had ganged up on Gwen). She tells Sonali, "I want to thank you. It's hard telling the truth; it's not always an easy thing to do", and also tells Chrissa, "I'm glad Gwen has a friend like you".

She is played by ​Joanne Baron in the movie.

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