Katherine O' Connor still sleeps with the yellow teddy bear given to her at birth, even at age fourteen. Sometimes she cries when she thinks of the people starving around the world. Some nights, she stays up past midnight doing homework and practicing her piano skills. Her heart aches regularly, and she writes in a journal. Every morning, she does a yoga routine and reads passages from her copy of the Bible. During the day, she tries not to break down entirely.

In the lunch room, she sits with all her many friends and talks about whatever's in style. Her friends call her Katie, short for her given name. She loves playing softball and cheerleading for the school. She's in the advanced classes, and is on the student council. Katie's best friend of three years is Veronica Waters, and they both giggle over how cute Dean Foster is. Katie has had two boyfriends this year, in the eighth grade. They both lasted for a little over two weeks.

Katie's family consists of her two parents, two older brothers, and one younger sister. The O' Connors pride themselves in having straight-A students. They volunteer regularly at countless charities and organizations. Katie's father, George, is a nurse at the local hospital. Her mother Helen is a realtor. They are both disappointed that Katie spends so much time with her friends, even though she does well in school. Katie's siblings are functioning members of their schools, and her sister skipped a grade. Sometimes they fight, but never in front of their parents, who are very strict about that stuff.