Crash's real name is John but people call him Crash because he's always crashing into people on the football field. In first grade he met Penn Webb and his first impression was that Penn was a loser. For most of their years in elementary school,Crash was too popular to be bothered by Penn.
Penn Webb is a Quaker. That means he doesn't believe in violence, he lives a modest life with little toys or material possessions and he believes in forgiveness. He joined the cheerleading team and became friends with Jane Forbes (Crash's crush).
When a new student named Mike started going to Crash and Penn's school during the sixth grade things started to change. Mike and Crash became best friends and they bullied Penn for fun.