When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

Summarized by Gant Doiga


Toby Wilson is the main character, and the story is told in his point of view. Toby is thirteen years old and lives in Antler,Texas. The fattest boy which is Zachery Beaver comes to town. He has a real attitude and Toby does not like that. His mom is not coming home for a while and Toby is trying to get the girl of his dreams. This is going to be the toughest summer he ever faced.


Toby Wilson- He is 13 years old and the main character. He has a crush on Scarlet. His best friend is Cal. He wants to move to a big city.

Otto Wilson- He is Toby's dad and he isn't very close to him. He raises worms and is a very quiet man. Otto works at a post office.

Opalina Wilson- She is Toby's mom and was married to Otto. She left Otto because she thought he wasn't good enough for her. She is a very outgoing woman. She is a very talented singer and her dream is to become a famous country singer. She left her family to go to competition in Tennessee.

Cal McKnight- Cal is Toby's best friend. He has two brothers and one sister. His brother Wayne is at war. He lives on a cotton farm.

Wayne McKnight- He is Cal's older brother. He is very close to Toby. Wayne is drafted to go to war. While he is at war he writes to Cal but Cal doesn't write back. He also writes to Toby and his family. He dies in the war.

Zachery Beaver- He is the fattest boy in the world weighing 643 pounds. He is 15 years old. He wants to be baptized.

Scarlett- She thinks Toby is a really nice guy, but she doesn't like him. She is dating Juan. Tara is her little sister.

Paulie Rankin- He brings Zachary Beaver to Antler, Texas. He ends up adopting him at the end of the story.


One of the main conflicts in this story is internal conflict which is an emotional struggle someone feels inside their heart. The main character Toby Wilson deals with internal conflict. His mom went to sing in a contest in Nashville Tennessee and leaves him and his dad. Toby hates that his mom is so happy to leave them to go to Nashville and that she does not plan to return. He also has to deal with Scarlet Stalling, his crush, not liking him back. Toby is very sad and has to figure out how to deal with both of his issues.

The Plot!

1.One summer Toby Wilson's life changed in Antler, Texas.

2. He lived with his parents until his mom left to go to Nashville to become a singer and that hurt Toby terribly.

3. Paul Rankin brings the fattest kid in the world, Zachary, in a trailer and charges $2.00 to see him.

4. Cal convinces Toby to go see Zachary and they see Toby's crush, Scarlett, with her little sister, Tara. Scarlett asks them to bring Tara so she can get ready for her date with Juan.

5. They have to leave because Tara peed in her pants.

6. Toby rides his bike to Lake Gossimer and sees Scarlet and Juan together. His heart is broken.

7. The next day Toby and Cal ride their bikes to the Bowl-a-Rama which is near Zachary's trailer and they notice that Paulie is gone, but Zachary is still there.

8. After some time Cal and Toby become friends.

9. Toby and Cal find out that Zachary's dream is to be baptized.

10. Toby has to deal with losing his best friend's brother in war.

11. Cal is mad at Toby because he doesn't go to his brother's funeral and they are no longer friends and tells him that his mother is never coming back just like his brother.

12. Toby chases Cal down to the lake.

13. They become friends again.

14. Toby, Cal, and friends figure a way to get Zachary out of the trailer and into the back of a truck to bring him to the lake to be baptized.

15. His guardian came back, adopted Zachary and leaves town.

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Citation for Picture

(Kimberly, 2016)


"Nothing ever happens in Antler, Texas. Nothing much at all" (Holt, 3).

Works Cited

Holt, Kimberly Willis. When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. New York: Holt, 1999. Print.

"Kimberly Willis Holt Biography." Teachers Where Teachers Come First. Scholastic Inc, 2016.

Web. 28 Apr. 2016. <http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/contributor/kimberly-willis-holt>.