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Gordy is Reardan High School's resident "brain". He introduces Arnold to the world of learning. He affects Arnold in a very positive way. Both of them feel like outcasts from their communities so they form a "tribe of two". He opens a whole new world for Arnold. Penelope, the "perfect blond girl", rejects her father's racism and befriends Arnold. They are both dreamers of sorts. Penelope opens up the world of the other side to Arnold: the white world that does not readily accept him.