These are the minor characters in Kirsten's series

Amos Anderson

A black-haired nineteen-year old student at Powederkeg School. He has blue eyes and is as tall as Olav Larson. He is known for being rowdy and troublesome and once got into a fight that made Mr. Coogan punch him.

Miss Winston's sternness (and public embarrassment) is enough to shame him into behaving better during school.

Mr. Berkhoff

The owner of Berkhoff's General Store. He is a bald man with a mustache.

Brave Elk

The father of Singing Bird and the chief of his tribe.

Mr. Coogan

The previous teacher of Powderkeg School; Anna and Lisbeth say he was very strict teacher. Miss Winston replaces him as teacher and tells the students that Mr. Coogan was injured after being thrown from his horse.


A boy around Peter's age. He was traveling to California with his Ma and dog to reunite with his Pa before the their wagon fell over. He is one of the main characters of the short story Kirsten's Promise.

Five Swans

An Ojibwe Indian that trades with Olav and Inger Larson.

Johanna Green

Mr. Green

Mrs. Green


Kirsten's maternal grandmother and Greta Larson's mother. She is mentioned often, but not seen as she remained in Sweden.

She is mentioned in Kirsten's Surprise, when Mama and Kirsten reminisce how she helped pack their painted trunk.


A Norwegian girl who attends Powderkeg School with Kirsten. She is described as having a round face, creamy skin, blond hair she wears in a thick braid, and a dimple in one cheek. In Kirsten and the New Girl, she and her family are new to America. She's very good at math (numbers).

Old Jack

An elderly man who worked as a fur trapper and lived in a cave out in the wilderness. He utilizes old-fashioned traps rather than modern-style metal traps used by others.

During Changes for Kirsten Kirsten and Lars find Old Jack inside his cave while looking for shelter to pass the night; he has died, and his body is frozen. Lars speculates Old Jack's heart may have given out on him. Since he has no family, Lars suggests that they bury him in the spring after the ground thaws.

Erik Sandahl

John Stewart

A friend of Lars Larson and Mary Stewart's brother. He traps furs with Lars.

Mary Stewart

A friend of Kirsten, Anna and Lisbeth. Her family initially moved to Minnesota from Boston four years ago. She has curly brown hair and a "squinched-up" face like a sleeping puppy. She has worked on a quilt before.

The year before the events of Happy Birthday, Kirsten! (in 1854), her Aunt Sadie gave birth to twins; one twin died as well as her aunt. Her family took the baby to raise and while the family calls her Mary's little sister, she is a cousin and never knew her real mother.

Mr. Stewart

John and Mary's father.