A Northern Light
Main Character Mattie Gokey | The main character in A Northern Light is Mattie Gokey. She has thin brown hair and lots of freckles scattered along her pale face. Her hair is a simple plain brown, the same color of her eyes. Her hands are rough and unshapely from days of long, hard work on her father's farm. She is small, but strong. She is 16 years old, and loves writing. Mattie likes to “collect words.” Every day she gets out the dictionary, and picks a word for the day. She is set on receiving her diploma and going to Barnard College in New York City. Her family lives on Uncas Road in the North Woods in Eagle Bay with her 3 sisters and her father, whom she calls “Pa”. Her mother has passed away from cancer, which leaves her as the woman of the house and primary caretaker of her sisters Lou, Beth, and Abby. Her older brother is also gone, but he has just run away from home. Her father does much of the work on the farm, and his daughters frequently have to help him. | Minor Characters Weaver Smith | One important minor character in A Northern Light is Walker Smith. He is the only African-American boy in Eagle Bay. His eyes are brown, and his skin is “dark as tobacco” as Mattie puts it (pg. 31). He shares the same passion for words as Mattie does, and also wants to get his diploma and go to college. Although he excels in writing, he is better at Algebra than Mattie, and often has to help her. When he lived in Mississippi, Weaver's father was killed by three white men for not moving off the sidewalk when they passed, and the men shot him. Walker's father was shot right in front of him and his mother, Aleeta. It was then that they moved north to Eagle Bay. He also works with Mattie at The Glenmore Hotel for extra money to use for college. | Setting | A Northern Light is based in spring and summer of the year 1906. Mattie, the main character, lives in the Great North Woods of Eagle Bay....
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