Zachary Beaver by Kimberly W. Holt

( Summarized by Erin Guidry )

Introducing Zachary Beaver

The opening is in Antler, Texas. Thirteen year old Toby Wilson sees a Thunderbird, car, parked in the Dairy Maid parking lot. He sees a trailer and a long line of people paying two crisp dollars to see the fattest boy in the world. His name is Zachary Beaver and he's the fattest boy ever weighing in at six hundred and forty six pounds. Cal, Toby's best friend sees him and runs toward him they both get into the line when Toby sees Scarlett, his crush. She asks Toby to take her little sister to see the fat boy. When they get into the trailer Tara, Scarlett's sister looks at Zachary and sings, "Fatty fatty two by four can't get through the kitchen door."(Holt, 7) Toby was so embarrassed and shocked at how big Zachary really was.


Toby Wilson- Toby is kind of put back i guess you could say. He has a best friend named Cal and his crush Scarlett. Toby cares about not only the people he knows but also the people he just met, Zachary Beaver.

Cal McKnight- Cal's brother is in the military and Cal is very loud and proud. He works in the fields with his dad, brother and sister and in the spring they release ladybugs into the cotton fields so they could fly around and land on flowers. Cal is proud of what he does and always stands up for himself.

Kate McKnight- Kate is Cal's sister and she is a horrible driver! When the boys wanted to help Zachary she drove and joined in and later became Zachary's friend. She's the bossy one in the McKnight family.

Toby's Dad- He's a part time worm bait seller and Toby works with him. He is very protective over Toby, his son, and works very hard.

Toby's Mom- Left Antler to go to Nashville, Tennessee for a singing contest. She later lost the contest but stayed in Nashville and took time apart from her husband and Antler.

Zachary Beaver- He weighs over 600 Ibs. and is the "fattest man alive". He never leaves his trailer and eats a lot. Zachary would have gotten baptized but his mom died and he didn't want to have a crowd so he never did but eventually did in the end.

Wayne McKnight- Cal's brother that's in the army. He misses Antler, Texas his home town and wants to come back but later dies in war.

Ferris- Works at a diner in Antler. Cal and Toby are his best customers and he's super sweet. Ferris worked with Toby's mom before she left.

Paulie Ranklin- Zachary's legal guardian and travels the world with him. He left later in the book and never returned til the end. He was in Paris and other countries finding talents for their freak show they are putting together. He returned and took back Zachary.

Scarlett- Toby's crush that he later gave his mom's priceless pearls to. She gave them back and told him she only liked him as a friend nothing more.

Juan- Scarlett's ex boyfriend later boyfriend again. He carries around a steel golf club for no reason.

Miss Myrtie Mae- Toby cut grass for her and she is really sweet. She is married to a lawyer.

Sheriff- He runs the town of Antler, Texas. Wanted Toby to get into Zachary's business.

Conflicts, Conflicts, and more Conflicts

The first conflict is when Zachary came to town. When he came to town, Zachary had a line going all the way through town and Toby and Scarlett's little sister went see him and she sang a mean song. Second, is when they took Zachary to the movies, Toby, Cal, and Kate built steps and took Kate's pick up truck and picked up Zachary at his trailer. They set the steps on the back of the truck and let him climb up into the back and drive to the drive-in movie theater. The third conflict is when Cal threw money at Toby and ratted Zachary out for being a liar. When Wayne's funeral came around Toby and Zachary didn't go when Toby was at Zachary's house Cal busted in threw money at Toby to pay him back and pulled a curtain to show a toilet and a big shower and Toby saw books and books of places Zachary says he's been but lied and read those books to tell facts and act. The fourth and final conflict is when Zachary got baptized. Cal, Toby, Ferris, Kate, and others picked up Zachary on the day he was about to be taken to a foster home and brought him to Gossamer Lake and Ferris baptized him.

Main Plots

1. Toby's mom left him to go to Nashville, TN

2. Zachary Beaver came to town

3. Scarlett asked Toby to take her sister to see the "fattest boy in the world"

4. She saw Zachary and peed her pants laughing

5. Toby got a job mowing and weeding Miss Myrtie Mae's yard every week

6. Zachary's legal owner leaves

7. Cal and Toby leave food every week at Zachary's door

8. Sheriff asked Toby to become friends with Zachary Beaver

9. Toby visits Zachary with Cal and they talk to him about what it's like being fat

10. Cal tries to see what's in the gold box o the bookshelf

11. Cal finds out it's a bible with a baptism line with a blank

12. Toby and Cal sit atop Ferris's restaurant and some boys start throwing rocks at them so they throw it back

13. Toby breaks Zachary's window

14. Wayne dies

15. Wayne's funeral and Cal's break out

16. Zachary, Toby, and Cal become friends

17. Cal and Toby build steps to help Zachary up into the truck

18. Kate, Toby, and Cal take Zachary to the movies

19. Toby brings Scarlett to Juan

20. Zachary will be sent to a foster home

21. Zachary gets baptized by Ferris

22. They release the lady bugs in the field

23. Captured a picture of Zachary watching the ladybugs fly

24. They made a wall in the Bowl-A-Rama dedicated to Zachary and his summer in Antler

25. Zachary Beaver leaves the town of Antler

Quote: "It seems weird, staring at someone because they're different." (Holt, 13)

Kimberly Willis Holt


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


"Cynsations." : Career Builder & Giveaway: Kimberly Willis Holt. Web. 19 Feb.