List of California Diaries characters

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This is a list of characters in the California Diaries novel series by Ann M. Martin.

Main characters[edit]

Dawn Schafer

Dawn returned to California to live with her father, Jack, her stepmother, Carol, and her younger brother Jeff during her eighth grade year. Upon moving to Palo City permanently, Dawn found herself facing several problems. Her friendships were changing, and she felt increasingly distant from Carol. She found Carol slightly immature, something which irritated her. When Dawn realized that Carol was pregnant, she felt even further distanced from her family. During Carol's pregnancy, Dawn felt as if she and Jeff were her father's "old family", and Carol and the baby were his "new family", and therefore more important. However, once Dawn's halfsister Elizabeth Grace ("Gracie") was born, they did manage to feel slightly more like a family.

Sunny Winslow

Sunshine "Sunny" Daydream Winslow has been Dawn's best friend since childhood. Her mother is suffering (and eventually dies) from lung cancer, and her father overworks to try and distract himself from it. She begins to dress in a way that Dawn calls too adult[citation needed] and starts skipping classes. After running away but changing her mind, she continues to be at odds with her father and sad and angry about her mother's eventual death. Her reactions to these situations also have her at odds with Dawn, who manage to fight on and off. Sunny is closer to Carol than Dawn is, which irritates Dawn. She is also close friends with Ducky.

Maggie Blume

Maggie is the daughter of Hollywood producer Hayden Blume, something which she resents. She doesn't like to feel as though her father's money or influence makes them better than anyone else. In The Baby-Sitters Club series Maggie went through a rebellious phase, but as her Obsessive–compulsive disorder progressed, Maggie's perfectionist personality became more apparent. She is a Straight-A student who puts tremendous pressure on herself, and often feels as though she can never be good enough to please her parents, her father in particular. Her mother is an alcoholic who spent time in rehab as the series ended, and Maggie herself went through a period of anorexia, which she has gone into therapy for. She plays the keyboard, writes lyrics, and is the lead singer in a band called Vanish. Maggie's career goal is to become a veterinarian.

Amalia Vargas

Amalia was new at Vista High School during eighth grade. Of Latina descent, Amalia lives with her mother, her father, and her older sister, Isabel. Amalia loves art and often illustrates her journals with caricatures of the people and events that she writes about. She is also the manager of a band called Vanish, and dated their guitarist, James Kodaly, until James became verbally abusive towards her. After Amalia and James broke up, Amalia began dating Brendan Jones. Amalia went through a period of self-doubt when she encountered two girls who made fun of her because of her race, an experience which hurt her deeply, though her friends and family helped her through it. At the series' end, she was still dating Brendan, and had become good friends with Dawn, Sunny, and Maggie.

Ducky McCrae

Ducky is a sixteen-year-old boy whose real name is Christopher, though he has been called Ducky since childhood. He is going into his junior year at Vista. He is distant from his formerly close friends, Jason Adams and Alex Snyder. Jason has begun hanging around with the jocks at school, a group Ducky dislikes and has nicknamed "Cro-Mags", and Alex is severely depressed. Alex tried to commit suicide, and after the attempt he left California and went to Chicago. Now, Ducky's closest friend is Sunny. His parents are professors/international business consultants, and spend most of their time traveling. Ducky lives at home with only his older brother, Ted, who is an absent-minded college student.

Supporting characters[edit]

Jill Henderson

Jill was once very close with Dawn, Sunny, and Maggie. However, as eighth grade progressed, Jill regressed, much to the annoyance of her friends. She liked to wear clothes that her friends considered childish, such as sweaters with ponies on them, and had an avid interest in teddy bears and troll dolls. Maggie and Sunny lost patience with her first, but Dawn finally turned against her when Jill revealed one of Dawn's personal secrets. Since then, Jill was no longer their friend.

James Kodaly

James was the guitarist for a band called Vanish, in addition to being Amalia's boyfriend. As their relationship progressed, he became more controlling towards Amalia, finally lashing out with verbal abuse. Amalia eventually broke up with him, but James continued to harass her for months afterwards. He was kicked out of the band because of his torment of Amalia, and a lot of his former friends have taken Amalia's side against him.

Justin Randall

Justin was Maggie's love interest before Tyler. He took Maggie out on a few dates, though his interest in her waned when he realized she was anorexic. He eventually took James' place as the guitarist for a band called Vanish and, at the end of the series, was dating Nancy Mercado.

Jason "Jay" Adams

Jason was one of Ducky's best friends, along with Alex Snyder. Jason began hanging out with the jocks at school and kept trying to get Ducky to be with them too, setting him up with girls as well as trying to play basketball with him. Ducky didn't like this, so their friendship began to die off.

Alex Snyder

Alex was once one of Ducky's best friends. His parents are divorced and, before moving to Chicago to be with distant family, he lived with his mother. Though he had secretly been in therapy for a long time, he still sank into a depression, which escalated to the point of attempted suicide.

Brendan Jones

Brendan is shy and withdrawn. He moved to Palo City about halfway through the year, and quickly made friends with Amalia, a friendship which progressed into a relationship.

Tyler Kendall

Tyler is a movie star who Maggie is dating at the end of the series.

Rico Chavez

Rico is an upperclassman. He's the bass guitarist and back-up vocalist for a band called Vanish, and holds the band practices in his garage. He lives with his parents, who are very laid-back and supportive of his music and the band.

Patti and Bruce

Patti is the drummer for a band called Vanish, and Bruce is the back-up guitarist.

Albert "Carson" Frame

Carson is a boy Sunny meets when skipping school at Venice Beach. They become friends, although Carson tells Sunny few personal details. Later Carson reveals he is a runaway, but doesn't explain why. Sunny eventually decides to run away herself, and join Carson, but he turns down her offer and leaves on his own. Sunny then decides not to run away after all, and calls Ducky to drive her home.

Carol Olson-Schafer

Carol is the stepmother of Dawn and Jeff Schafer, married to their father Jack Schafer, and is the mother of Elizabeth Grace. She provides advice for Sunny at various times in the series, and the two become close, however her relationship with Dawn is strained.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Winslow

Elizabeth is Sunny's mother. She dies from having lung cancer in the series.

Minor characters[edit]

Jack Schafer

Jack is the father of Dawn and Jeff Schafer, as well as Elizabeth Gracie Schafer-Olson. He is married to Carol Olson.

Jeff Schafer

Jeff is Dawn's ten-year-old brother. He is closer to Carol than Dawn is, and is considered "goofy" by the other characters.

Elizabeth Grace Schafer-Olson

Elizabeth is Dawn's new baby sister, and the daughter of Jack Schafer and Carol Olson.

Paul Winslow

Paul is Sunny's father, and the owner of Winslow Books.

Hayden Blume

Hayden is Maggie's father, and a movie producer.

Eileen Blume

Eileen is Maggie's mother. She is known for her alcohol dependency.

Zeke Blume

Zeke is Maggie's younger brother, who is twelve years old.


Pilar is The Blumes' housekeeper/chef.

Ted McCrae

Ted is Ducky's twenty-one-year-old brother and legal guardian in their parents' absence.

Isabel Vargas

Isabel is Amalia's older sister.

Peg Lewis

Peg is a new friend of Henderson.

Nancy Mercado

Nancy dated Justin Randall, and is casual friends with Amalia Vargas.

CeCe de Farge

Was Amalia's friend until James and Amalia broke up.

Marina Kodaly

Marina is a friend of Amalia's, and also James' younger sister. She and CeCe stopped hanging out with Amalia once James and Amalia broke up.

Dr. Merwin

Dr. Merwin is Sunny's mother's main doctor.

Piper Klein

Piper runs the animal shelter where Maggie works.

Mandy Richards

Mandy is an upperclassman who appeared only in the first California Diaries novel, Dawn, as a character who targeted Dawn and gave her a hard time after Dawn accidentally tried to open Mandy's locker, thinking it was hers.

Christina McDonnell

Christina is an upperclassman who once hired the band Vanish to play at the school formal.


Leann is a girl that Ducky (unknowingly) goes on a blind date with, set up by Jason.

Vista Staff[edit]

Mr. Dean

Mr. Dean is the principal of Vista.

Ms. Kreuger

Ms. Kreuger is a tenth grade teacher that is described as relatively cool. Upperclassmen held a party at her house on a weekend when she was out of town. She later promised to keep close eye on Dawn, Ducky, and Sunny after the three were found at the scene.

Ms. Whalen

Ms. Whalen is Sunny's math teacher, whom she dislikes.

Mr. Hackett

Mr. Hackett is Sunny's homeroom teacher, whom she dislikes.

From the Baby-Sitters Club Ultimate Guide[edit]

These characters are from the Baby-Sitters Club Ultimate Guide, and appear in the Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #5, California Girls!, and the rest of the Baby-Sitters Club trips to California. Therefore, in the sense of an "extended universe" canon, they can be considered part of the series, although they are not specifically mentioned in the California Diaries series.

Katie Bear

Katie is a girl who competes against Dawn in the beginners' surf tournament.

Ellen Bliemer

Ellen is a former friend of Dawn, Sunny, Jill, and Maggie, who likes to play practical jokes.

Joe Luhan

Joe is an old classmate of Dawn's.

Tom Swanson

Tom is an old classmate of Dawn's and has "eyebrows that look like caterpillars".

Carter Pape

Carter is a seventeen-year-old male who is part of the "surfer crowd".

Rosemary Tanner

Rosemary is a sixteen-year-old female who is part of the "surfer crowd". She was caught in the riptide at one point and saved by lifeguards.

Paul Rapkin

Paul is a seventeen-year-old male who is part of the "surfer crowd". His father is Dr. Rapkin, who plays tennis with Dawn's father.


Dan is Stacey's first surfboard instructor.


Beau is a "wild" surfer; his friends are Paul, Carter, Alana, and Rosemary; he hung out with Stacey in the Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #5, California Girls!.

Tom Murphy

Tom is a boy on the high school track team that does "Good Samaritan" deeds.


Sandra is a helper at the beach daycare program.


Terry is an intellectual boy for whom Claudia falls in love with, has black hair and dark eyes. He lives between the beach and Dawn's house with his parents, both of whom are lawyers, and his two brothers, one older and one younger. He loves school and his hobby is reading; he once won a district-wide science fair.


Toby is a boy on the high school track team with long brown hair.

See also[edit]