Flora "Floss" Barnes' mother and father split up when she was little and she wishes they'd get back together because she doesn't like her stepfather, Steve, and her little half brother Tiger. The book opens on Floss's birthday, when her mum and Steve take her to TGI Friday's, and tell her that they are going to Australia for six months because of Steve's job. Floss wants to go with them, but she doesn't want to leave her father, cheerful and fun Charlie, who runs his own café ( named Charlies but the c come off so harlies) which is quickly going out of business. Floss convinces her mother that she can live with her dad, while they are in Australia. Floss has a tough time getting used to life without her mother since her dad is not used to taking care of Floss seven days a week and she is not used to his home seven days a week, either. Floss's school uniforms get dirtier and disarrayed as her father is not used to washing and ironing them, but her teacher, Mrs. Horsefield, helps her out, as Floss is one of her personal favorite students The father and daughter learn to cope and meet Rose, a very caring woman who works at a fair. After she leaves (travelling with the fair), they keep an eye out for her fair. Meanwhile, a regular customer at the cafe (Billy the Chip) puts money on a horse that Floss selects, and he wins money on the horse.
After losing the cafe and the flat, Billy the Chip mentions he is going to Australia to visit his son for one month and needs Floss and her father to live in his house while Charlie works in Billy's chip van. However, one day, a group of "yobbos"(as Charlie calls them) fight Rose's son Saul and when he attempts to stop the fistfight, the van catches on fire with Floss trapped inside. Charlie fights his way through the fire and rescues her, while in the process burning his hands. Floss also has a best friend, Rhiannon, who isn't much of a friend - making fun of her and her father and starting cruel rumours about her. Floss finds a new friend, Susan, who is interested in all her favorite things. When the fair comes back in town, Rose and Charlie consider dating, and Floss finds out both are interested in each other and get along well, while Rose lets Floss help her in the candyfloss stall. Later, Susan goes to stay in her house in France and says farewell to Floss at the beginning of summer. The book closes with Floss dying her hair pink (like candy floss).
Flora 'Floss' Barnes
The main protagonist. She is a generally happy and bubbly girl although she struggles to stand up for herself sometimes. She makes the painful choice to remain with her dad when her mum, step father and half brother go to Australia. Her best friend Rhiannon ends up backstabbing her so she becomes friends with Susan. She is small with masses of blonde curly hair which she dyes pink at the end of the book.
Floss's dad. He runs a little local cafe but is massively in debt and loses it mid-way through the book. He ends up running a chip van until it gets burnt down. He is plump with dark hair. Despite being a little absent minded sometimes, he cares deeply for Floss and only wants what's best for her. He saves her life when the chip van gets burnt down. He ends up starting a romantic relationship with Rose from the funfair.
Floss's mum. She is a pretty mum who after divorcing Charlie, got remarried to Steve and had another child Tim (who is known as Tiger). She tries to act posh and isn't missing her old life as a smelly chip family. She still gets on with Charlie though she is always mocking his way of being. She announces to Floss on her birthday that the whole family is moving to Australia for Steve's new job and is heartbroken when Floss remains with her dad. Floss gets defensive when anyone says her mum walked out on her. Although Floss stays with her dad, she misses her mother terribly.
The new girl in Floss's class who is extremely clever. She was nicknamed 'Swotty Potty' by Judy and Margot. She wants to be Floss's friend but is scared of Rhiannon. Once Floss breaks friends with Rhiannon though, Susan and Floss become best friends. They both enjoy art, books and being creative. Susan has short brown hair, glasses and a massive fixation with numbers.
Floss's former best friend. She is very pretty with straight black hair and a slim figure. She is also very rich and enjoys flaunting her wealth. She can be very rude and bullies Susan throughout and Floss after the two fall out. She says to people that Floss's mum has walked out on her when she hasn't and says Floss begged her to buy her new clothes.
She runs the candyfloss stall at the funfair that Floss and Charlie go to at the start. She is very compassionate and helps Floss and her dad when they get in a fight. At the end of the book she returns to thank Charlie for saving Saul during the fight and fire at the chip van. She develops romantic feelings for Charlie as well at the end and is in favour of Charlie and Floss joining up with the fair in the summer. She is pretty with blonde hair and wears lots of red clothing. She says she is she is quite a lot older than Charlie.