From the cover of LS#60, Karen's Pony
|Full name||Karen Brewer|
|Relationship to BSC||Kristy's younger stepsister,|
|Occupation||2nd grade student|
|Spouse||Ricky Torres (Pretend)|
|Parents|| Watson Brewer|
Lisa Engle (nee Packett)
Elizabeth Brewer (stepmother)
Seth Engle (stepfather)
|Traits||outgoing, spoiled, bossy, cheerful, "two-two", friendly|
|Portrayed in film by||Jessica Needham|
Karen was born at 2:35 in the afternoon on a beautiful spring Saturday. Her father picked her name, which means pure, because he felt pure joy seeing Karen.
Karen has blonde hair, blue eyes, and freckles. In Little Sister #5, Karen's School Picture, she has to get two pairs of glasses, a blue pair for reading, and a pink pair for the rest of the time, and she is seen wearing these throughout the rest of the series.
As Karen explains, when she was younger her family consisted of her daddy (Watson), her mommy (Lisa), and her younger brother Andrew. They all lived together in a big house in Stoneybrook. But Watsona and Lisa started having troubles, arguing all the time, and could not work things out. After explaining to their children that they loved them, but not each other, they decided to get a divorce.
Watson stayed in the family's home, as it was the house he grew up in as a boy, and eventually met and married Elizabeth Thomas.6 Elizabeth moved into the house with her children: Charlie, Sam, Kristy, and David Michael. After awhile, Watson and Elizabeth adopted Emily Michelle, a toddler from Vietnam.24 Because they needed help with so many children, Elizabeth's mother Nannie moved in with the family.
Lisa got custody of Karen and Andrew, and moved across Stoneybrook. When Karen was four and a half, Lisa decided they needed bookshelves in their home and called a carpenter, Seth Engle. Lisa and Seth kept finding things for him to build or repair in Lisa's home, they started dating, and eventually got married.
After the divorce, the custody arrangements were that Karen and Andrew would spend every other weekend and two weeks in the summer with their father, and the rest of the time with their mother. But in Karen's Two Families, Karen and Andrew started missing their father more. They got the custody arrangements changed so that they would spend equal time with each family. They now alternate months between houses, changing the months every year for holiday purposes.
Because Karen and Andrew spend so much time at each house, they tend to have two of most things: mommies, daddies, bikes, clothes, books, toys. Because of this, Karen calls herself and Andrew Two-Twos, a name she got from a book.
Karen's families have an abundance of pets:
Little House Pets
- Midgie, Seth's mutt
- Rocky, Seth's cat
- Bob, Andrew's hermit crabLS48 (goes from house to house with Andrew)
- Sadie, the dog that the family got as a replacement for Midgie when she ran away.
- Emily Junior, Karen's rat who travels back and forth with her between the two houses
- Growly, The cat which Karen found in her shed and adopted it. Growly had kittens, Nancy Dawes owns one of the kittens and so does Melody Korman.
Big House Pets
- Boo-Boo, Watson's fat old cat (deceasedLS103 )
- Shannon, David Michael's Bernese mountain dog puppy
- Pumpkin, the family's kittenLS102
- Scout, the seeing-eye puppy the family was training118 (sent back)
- Goldfishie, Andrew's pet Goldfish. When he and Karen are at their mother's David Michael looks after it.
- Crystal Light, Karen's first pet goldfish. It died whilst she was at their mother's house (deceasedLS103 )
- Crystal Light the Second, Karen's second goldfish. When she and Andrew are at their mother's house David Michael looks after it.
In Karen's Little Sister, Karen feels lonely because of all the attention Emily Michelle is getting. She wishes that she could get her own pet, and Lisa and Seth decide that she is old enough to get a small one. At first, she is content taking care of a baby bird that she had found, but it eventually gets bigger and flies away. Then she decides she wants a rat, like Nicodemus in Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. She names her rat Emily Junior, after Emily Michelle. Emily Junior stays at Karen's mother's house full-time, until Karen starts spending more time at her father's, then Emily Junior stays at whatever house Karen is at that month.
Before the custody arrangements were changed, however, Karen found that she missed Emily Junior when she was at her father's house. And since Andrew didn't have a pet at either home (this was before he got Bob), they got permission in Karen's Goldfish from Watson and Elizabeth to get a fish each. Karen named her fish Crystal Light, and Andrew named his Goldfishie. Unfortunately, almost two weeks later, Crystal Light died, but after the funeral Mrs. Porter let Karen choose a fish from a pond she had in her backyard. Karen chose one that looked identical to Crystal Light, and named her new fish Crystal Light the Second.
While her father's family is attending an estate sale, Karen sees some farm animals, including a tired pony. All the animals are sold except for the pony, and Karen feels sorry for him because if he doesn't get sold, he may have to go to a shelter. Because Watson cannot bear to see the pony go to a shelter, he buys the pony, who is named Blueberry.LS60 Blueberry gets boarded at a friend of Watson's, but he is still lonely, so he gets moved to a new friend of Karen's, where he is much happier.
When Karen visits her step grandparents (Seth's parents) in Nebraska their next door neighbour gives her a pet chick which Karen calls Tia. Karen can't take it back with her so she gets her grandparents neighbour to look after the chick. The next time Karen visits Nebraska she is shocked to see how much her chick has grown.
Karen's best friends are Hannie Papadakis and Nancy Dawes. They call themselves The Three Musketeers. Karen met Hannie on the first day of school at Little Friends Day School, they became best friends right away. She met Nancy after her parents divorced and she moved into the little house.
She was also close with Amanda Delaney, until the Delaneys moved to another neighborhood. She then becomes close friends with Melody Korman who moves in to the the Delaneys' old house. Karen is also good friends with Shannon Kilbourne's littlest sister Maria. She has a pretend husband named Ricky Torres who sits next to her in class, because he also has glasses. Her other friends include Natalie Springer who also has glasses and sits with Karen and Ricky, Bobby Giannelli who was originally an enemy of Karen's due to him being the school bully. Bobby then moved across the road from Karen and Nancy and they are now friends. Bobby is also Ricky's best friend. Karen has a pen pal in New York City named Maxie Medvin. Karen is also penpals with Caroline, the niece of her teacher Ms. Colman, they were flower girls together at Ms Colman's wedding. Caroline lives in Oregon. She is also good friends with Margo Pike, starting from Karen's Mermaid. Karen's "best enemies" are Pamela Harding and Pamela's friends Jannie Gilbert and Leslie Morris.
Throughout the series Karen and her family go on many vacations. Karen has visited her step grandparents (Seth's parents) in Nebraska twice. She lived in Chicago for a little while with her mom, stepdad and brother. She was homesick so moved back to Stoneybrook to live with her father. Karen has been to New York on a school trip as well as with both her mother and father. Karen went to Walt Disney World in Florida with her father's family. She has also visited Washington D.C. and Texas.
Karen has been a flower girl three times, at her mother's wedding, father's wedding and the wedding of her teacher Ms. Colman.
Karen has been to hospital twice, once when she broke her wrist whilst roller skating and a second time when she had to get her spleen removed after falling from her tree house. Karen has also had the chickenpox.
Karen has done many different extra-curricular activites and various other schemes throughout the series, some of these are:
- Joining a summer swim school
- Playing the Tuba
- Taking Gymnastics lessons
- Being queen of the local pizza place and even starring in an advertisement
- Figure skating
- Running a lemonade stand
- Running a street newspaper
- Starting up a cat minding business known as the 'Kitty Kat Klub' members were Karen, Amanda Delaney and Hannie Papadakis
- She joined a beauty pageant to become Little Miss Stoneybrook
- Got to turn on the Stoneybrook Christmas lights
Karen attends Camp Mohawk in SS2 and is one of Stacey's campers in cabin 6-B. She was over-excited and shrill on her first day away from home; to calm her down, Stacey has her help out the other campers. Karen gets into a discussion with Nonie about older siblings who play jokes on people. Later, Karen and Nonie help Stacey move back to their cabin after spending a few days in the infirmary.
Karen is a member of All the Children.
Her favorite group is The Lemon Drops.
In the French-Canadian (Héritages Jeunesse books) her name is Karen Marchand. In the French (Gallimard Jeunesse) books, her name is Karen Lelland.