The Gao family is American/Chinese. Their mother lived most of her life in America and their father lived most of his life in China. The girls all grew up in China, speaking English and Chinese, so they are all bilingual. When they had the opportunity to live on The Island, they took it at once, realizing that it would be a much better place to live than any country in our world.
Joyce Charity Gao 高仁心 (gao ren xin)
Joyce loves learning, especially languages. Right now she is studying with Ted, but on her own, she is still always reading and learning. Science has especially interested her recently, so frequently she can be found collecting specimens to study or studying them. Joyce loves being the oldest, and enjoys helping her sisters whenever they are in need. Of course, she also is the most well-behaved of all of them, and has the best manners. Her parents taught her early on that if she expected her sisters to behave in a certain way, she had better be ready to do it, too, because they would copy whatever she did, not what she said. It’s worked out well, because even if they won’t all admit it, all of her younger sisters hope to someday be as lovely as Joyce is on the inside.
Betty Joy Gao 高禧了(gao xi le)
Betty is an artist. As such, she almost always has her head in a different world. She always sees things differently from everyone else, seeing the good in everything even when no one else can. Because of that, she is very kind to everyone, though she is also really shy and doesn’t have many friends. Her family loves her dearly and they are all always willing to listen to her dreams and ideas and thoughts on the world, but still, even they have trouble completely understanding her. She is really like an angel on earth. Maybe that is why her art is always so beautiful.
Susana Peace Gao 高平安 (gao ping an)
Suze (as she likes to be called) is incredibly bubbly and friendly. She will befriend anyone, and loves everyone. In fact, her favorite thing to do is to go up to a stranger and befriend them, which is how she and Ashley became good friends. Suze loves everything Japanese, which always leaves her family shaking their heads at her, but they still love and support her just the same. She loves anime, cosplaying, reading manga, cooking Japanese food, learning Japanese, drawing anime characters, writing her own comics, and dressing up in crazy street fashions. She loves every color of the rainbow and likes to wear them all at the same time, and most of the time she wears all of her hair clips at the same time, too. She is crazy, but no one can help but love her.
Cathy Patience Gao 高苦心 (gao ku xin)
Cathy is a bit of a tomboy. She loves being outside, climbing trees and running around with the boys. She will wear dresses as long as they don’t impede her activities. She is also the only sister to show much of an interest in her dad’s cooking, and she loves to help him, so that one day she will be a great cook like him.
Esther Grace Gao 高恩典 (gao en dian)
Esther loves wearing frilly dresses and dancing. Since she doesn’t like Cathy’s type of play much, Esther finds her own friends among the young girls of The Island. Most of the time they can all agree on playing dolls or other imaginative games, and when they don’t, they try to work it out as best as possible. Esther’s best friend is Jenny Parkington, and they can be found together (with Emma and Bridget too) pretty much all of the time.
Emma Faith Gao 高信心 (gao xin xin)
Seeing as all her sisters have such big opinions, Emma has almost none. She follows Esther around and plays with her, but she also enjoys hanging out with her other sisters too – helping Joyce study languages, painting with Betty, watching Studio Ghibli films with Suze, and climbing trees with Cathy. Emma isn’t very talkative, but when she does talk, she knows what she is saying. In fact, she is very intelligent for a five-year-old, but that could be because she has five older sisters to learn from.