An irrepressible ten-year-old who would love to be your friend! Jenny’s personality radiates from every story page – she’s a chatterbox, adventurer and playmate all rolled into one! She can often be seen out and about in Pennyvale, riding on her bike or tearing down the street with her messenger bag swung across her shoulder. Jennifer Patricia Many is a girl who firmly believes that actions speak louder than words. If a friend needs her help, nothing will stop her from rushing to the rescue. She is kind-hearted, brave and loyal.
Jenny is at the centre of an established friendship group, but she isn’t cliquey. She loves meeting new people and with her strong sense of justice, is careful not to leave anyone out or let bullies spoil the fun. Although Jenny’s fads and crazes (her ‘-itises’ as her best friend, Hannah, calls them) can sometimes drive her pals nuts, they each know that she’s got their back no matter what.
Jenny is an intelligent girl and a natural leader. She has a tendency to leap in with both feet, but her motives are honourable. Although an only child, she is sociable and happy operating as part of group, especially if she can take charge! She’s a busy person who has a knack of sweeping the reader along with her plans and schemes. Whether she’s practising her clarinet, baking with her dad or video calling her cousin Lily, she throws herself into life 110%.
Jenny Many is a thoroughly modern heroine. She is tech savvy and imaginative, but also athletic and outdoorsy too. She is a plucky tomboy who certainly doesn’t worry about getting her clothes muddy or her hair wet in the rain! You'd be forgiven for thinking that she’s not scared of anything, but Jenny does have one phobia – frogs and toads. Unfortunately her arch-rival Lindy Lawson has sussed this info out, although even she wouldn’t be quite mean enough to do anything about it (would she?).
Jenny has a much-loved labradoodle called Trixie, who follows her anywhere and everywhere. Trixie is a golden bundle of fur that Jenny often references by nickname – ‘Fluffadoodle’, ‘Fluffyfeet’ etc… She regularly comes out with Jenny and her friends, especially when they are undertaking some amateur sleuthing in Pennyvale. Unfortunately for Jenny, Trixie is not a very successful detective dog. The pup, like her friend Dylan, is too easily sidetracked by the first sniff of food!
Jenny lives with her mum and dad at 93, Latimer Drive. It is a modern semi-detached house with all of the usual clutter that you would expect to see in a comfy, well-lived in family home. Jenny has her own bedroom, which she makes over on a regular basis. She loves rearranging her stuff to accommodate her latest hobbies, covering noticeboards with drawings, print outs and cool inventions – her mum often wonders what she is going to find in there next! Jenny is into gadgets and is confident in a multi-device environment.
When her granny needs to record something on the TV, Jenny is the person who she calls! Jenny is good at following instructions and sussing out how things work, but she is also a creative thinker – using tech in surprising and inventive ways to achieve goals or solve the latest mystery that she’s grappling with. She uses IT to code, research, record and connect with people, but will also unplug and play in equal measure. Jenny is a good all-rounder – she is not gifted or exceptionally advanced academically. Instead it is her resourcefulness, determination and ability to question the status quo that enables her to surprise and impress those around her.
Jenny’s favourite place in the world is the treehouse that her dad built for her in the back garden. It’s her sanctuary, but also the HQ when Jenny and her friends need to talk in private. It even has special winding stairs so that Trixie can climb up there, too!
At times, Jenny gets things wrong, just as we all do. Despite this, she continues to dream big. When she’s captivated by something new, she will often express an intention to take up a career or succeed on a grandiose scale. These dreams are not always as far out of reach as they may first appear. As the series progresses, Jenny proves that a small person can do big things if they really set their mind to it, especially if they have a little help from their friends!
Most likely to wear: Denim shorts or short denim dungarees, stripy tights, basketball boots, bright T-shirts. Jenny also carries a messenger bag with her containing all the things she needs for her latest adventure.
Jenny’s well-heeled older cousin. Lily lives with her brother, Chris, and their parents in a smart house in the City. Her mum, Leslie is Jenny’s much-loved auntie, and sister to Grace Many. Lily appears to have everything – her dad drives a flash car, she has a wardrobe full of clothes, tons of pocket money and an amazing laptop. Jenny initially sees her cousin as rather cool and snooty. Lily is good at everything she turns her hand at… and she seems to know it, too. Jenny has lost count of the number of cello concerts Lily has performed in, the netball matches she has won and the number of top marks in maths tests that she has notched up.
It is only when Lily comes to stay that Jenny discovers another side to her cousin. Lily is secretly trying to deal with an upsetting cyber bullying campaign led by a girl from her school. Jenny helps Lily to find the confidence to defeat the bully and the pair become firm friends. Once Lily relaxes she is a lot of fun, revealing a secret talent for cracking terrible jokes! Lily only appears in occasional stories. She also makes cameos by video calls every now and then.
Most likely to wear: Posh designer labels, preppy clothes, dresses rather than jeans.
Is a key member of Jenny's close knit friendship group. He is a quirky and bright ten-year-old with a mop of ginger hair, a cheeky grin and constantly rolling green eyes. Dylan has a sophisticated sense of humour delivered in a deadpan voice, which sets up lots of amusing exchanges with the friends that know how he operates.
Dylan is not a sporty lad. When it comes to getting active he is rather clumsy, accident prone and sometimes nervous – when the kids go to a fun fair he is the one most likely to be freaked out by the rides. Dylan is more into books, movies and video games. He’s a walking wiki on the latest superhero blockbusters and a whiz at finding the lowdown online when the friends are searching for information. He also has a brilliant vocabulary. Dylan loves collecting new words to bamboozle his friends with!
Like Ella, Dylan has a natural connection with animals. He is always up for a visit to see the guinea pigs at Mr Murray’s pet shop or a dog walk with Jenny and Trixie – you just need to get him out of bed first! Dylan likes his home comforts. His default position is curled up on his beanbag reading a book in his onesie. Dylan pretends to grumble when Jenny drags him off for an adventure, but even he can’t resist her enthusiasm (and nagging!). Once he’s up and out, he loves every minute of it.
When he’s not sleeping, Dylan’s attention invariably turns to one other subject: food! He loves eating and his appetite would make Scooby Doo look fussy. Dylan’s friends often use this as a bribe to motivate him into action. He’d do anything for a pizza or a slice of Mr Many’s amazing chocolate cake.
Dylan’s friends are mostly girls, but he is a typical ten-year-old who is much more interested in playing than any sort of romantic connection with his peers. Despite this, Hannah likes to tease Dylan about the time Janie Bilter tried to kiss him in the Tunnel of Love ride at the fun fair last summer!
Dylan lives next to the park, with his mum and his gran. His parents have been divorced for some time and he doesn’t get to see his dad. Perhaps as an indirect consequence of this, he has become quite close to Harvey Greenacre’s dad, Tim.
Most likely to wear: Jeans, sci-fi T-shirts, hoodies, baseball cap, trainers.
Jenny’s other best friend, a small blonde girl with twinkly blue eyes. Ella is in the same year at school as Jenny and Hannah but in a different class. At nine years old, Ella is the baby of her year and so seems slightly younger and less confident in her behaviour than the other girls. Ella lives next door to Jenny on Latimer Drive. They have worked out a system where Jenny flashes her torch from the treehouse in her back garden onto Ella’s bedroom window when she needs to get her attention. The friends message each other all the time, but this is much more fun!
Ella often appears dreamy and a little shy. She has a vivid imagination which can be inspiring, but also make her nervous when the gang find themselves in a potentially dramatic situation. She adores animals, especially kittens and ponies. When the friends ride on the carousel during a trip to the fair, Ella immediately gives her horse a name, ‘Windracer’ and pictures herself riding off into the sunset! Unfortunately Ella isn’t allowed any pets at home because her dad is allergic to fur, much to her disappointment. Instead she has to content herself with cuddling Jenny’s pup Trixie and regular visits to the town pet shop.
Although Ella is happy to be led by Jenny and the others, she is no pushover. She goes to karate every Saturday, straight after her ballet class. If challenged, she will stand up for what she believes in and is always ready to step forward and help those more vulnerable than herself. She adores her young class teacher Miss Pearson, and will turn to her if the friends decide they need a grown-up’s help.
Ella is artistic. She is especially into clothes and dressing up. She is constantly offering to give her friends makeovers, especially Jenny! If the gang needs to put on a disguise or find a costume for a party or a show, Ella comes into her own. She has a baby brother called Robbie, who is five years old. Although Robbie can be a pest sometimes, he has a big dressing-up box full of crowns, cloaks and wizard wands that Ella likes to dip into. Ella is also brilliant at face painting.
Most likely to wear: Pretty, girly things. Coloured sunglasses, ruffle tops, flowery capris, cute Japanese accessories, animal print PJs, sparkly hair clips. Ella is a fashionista, but her look is quirky and fun rather than all-out girlie.
Jenny’s BFF since… forever! Hannah and Jenny’s mums have been friendly ever since they first met at an antenatal class. Since the day they were born the girls have done everything together – from taking their first steps to starting school. Their mums have a stack of embarrassing baby photos of the pair, which they threaten to get out of their purses every time they meet up for a coffee!
Hannah and Jenny have always got on brilliantly and they know each other inside out. They are, however, contrasting personalities. Hannah is very calm and thoughtful – at times the perfect antidote to Jenny’s spontaneity. She is used to Jenny’s –itises, and although she often chips in with words of caution, is always willing to come along on for the ride.
Hannah is a tall girl of Asian heritage. She has a mane of long, black hair that she usually plaits or ties up in a scrunchy so that it doesn’t get in the way. She has big, dark eyes that are very expressive – she only has to give Jenny one of her ‘looks’ and she knows exactly what she thinks about what’s going on! Hannah has a dry sense of humour and she is the character most closely aligned with the reader in terms of standpoint. Hannah loves to tease Dylan.
Most likely to wear: Skinny jeans, sweatshirts with the sleeves pushed up the elbows, high top trainers, stripy vest tops. Hannah is not into fashion (she’s practical and prefers to be comfy), but she has a cool skater style that is all her own.
A new kid in Jenny’s class. Harvey is quiet, unassuming and keen to make friends. His parents Kate and Tim Greenacre, and his older brother, Ollie, have recently moved into the area. Harvey has a basset-beagle called Bonza that has a habit of escaping from his back garden. Dylan rescued Bonza once and after being licked all over by the hound, they became firm friends. He often asks Mr Greenacre if he can borrow Bonza for walks.
Harvey does not feature in every story but is part of Jenny’s extended friendship group. Up until six months’ ago his father’s job had taken the family all over the world. It was fun and exciting to travel and see different places, but he and Ollie never had time to make any firm friends at the schools they went to. Tim Greenacre finally decided that it wasn’t fair on his kids and resigned so he could take up a less high-powered job locally in Pennyvale. Kate couldn’t have been happier. Now she has put down roots, it means she can help settle Harvey and Ollie into the area by holding birthday parties and encouraging them both to join clubs and activities.
Most likely to wear: Hoodies, cargo shorts (most of the year), trainers.
Possibly the most annoying person that Jenny has ever met! Lindy is in the same year at school as Jenny and her pals, but she is big for her age and confident, too! Ever since Jenny can remember, she and Lindy have not got along. Lindy and her cronies, Emily Greene and Jane Sparkes are on permanent mission to mess up her plans!
Lindy is a tall brunette girl with freckles and on a permanent mission. She has had it in for Jenny every since they were at nursery school. After a spat over a toy, Lindy put playdough in Jenny’s hair, making it so sticky a clump had to be cut out. Jenny has never forgotten the little bald patch she had for weeks afterwards. The worst thing about it was that Lindy didn’t even say sorry.
Lindy is bossy, sneaky and unlikeable, but she is rarely seen without Emily and Jane beside her to bolster her up. Deep inside, she doesn’t mean to be a bully, but she finds Jenny and her friends too big a threat to her status as top dog. She plagues them constantly, partly because she is envious and partly because she is desperate to find out what they are getting up to. Jenny always seems to be having more fun than she is!
Jenny’s nemesis is not a one-dimension character and very occasionally the reader is allowed to glimpse the insecure, sweeter side of Lindy. At home she is the baby of the family, the youngest of three girls. Her big sisters Cara and Josie are much older than her, seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds caught up in a busy whirl of High School, going out and boyfriends. The pair are very close and sometimes dismissive of Lindy, making her feel small and left out. As a result, in her own social world she likes to dominate others.
In the series, Lindy can be counted on to shout out mean things, snitch and sabotage Jenny’s plans. Occasionally she will experience moments of redemption, but generally she will be the girl that the readers love to hate! It was Lindy that jumped out on the girls when they were holding ice creams, let the air out of their bike tyres and captured a toad to freak out Jenny.
Most likely to wear: T-shirt dresses, sassy print skirts, sunglasses, denim jackets, more grown-up pieces borrowed from her big sisters.
Miss Pearson – a recently qualified teacher with bags of enthusiasm and new ideas. She is young, sweet and pretty and all the children adore her. Miss Pearson is the subject champion for ICT at the school and runs a coding club as an after school activity.
At times Jenny and her friends will go to Miss Pearson for help and advice. She will also occasionally petition the more traditional Mrs Norris on their behalf when an adult’s help is needed.
Mrs Grace Many – Jenny’s mum. Mrs Many is a patient and loving mum, who works part-time from home as a freelance magazine writer. She and Jenny are very close, spending most of their time together. Mrs Many is the perfect foil for her daughter’s impetuous ways, giving her the freedom to express herself whilst calmly reminding her in between adventures that homework, clarinet practice and bedroom tidying still have to be done, too. Mrs Many only has to take a one look at Jenny to know whether she’s got her ‘up to something face’ on. She is very proud of her daughter’s strong personality – Jenny inherited her spirit and independence from her.
Mr Eric Many – Jenny’s dad. Mr Many works in the City in an office job, so often appears over breakfast before heading off to catch a train or in the evening after work. Although he works full-time, he is a big part of family life at 93, Latimer Drive. Mr Many’s hobby is baking cakes. He has made so many delicious creations for friends and family, he has now started to get commissions in the local area. One day he would like to give up his office job and bake full-time.
Jenny’s class teacher at Pennyvale School. She is an experienced old hand with twenty years’ teaching under her belt already. Mrs Norris is strict but fair and generally unphased by the dramas, triumphs and disasters that the kids experience. Sometimes however, Jenny’s antics even make her jaw drop! Jenny, Hannah, Harvey and Lindy are all in the same class. Dylan and Ella are in the class next door, taught by Miss Pearson.