If Steve Turner is oafish, so his younger sister Beverley is sardonic. She may only be eleven, or twelve as the story progresses, but her innocence is only compounded by her unique and lovable wit. Loyal to Paul, proud of the gang, she is there till the last when most of the others (even Paul) have wandered at least on occasion. Only twice do we see her entirely serious - once with the self-induced, but thankfully temporary, loss of her relationship with Colin Gray, the other as the curtain descends, in Chapter 61.
As far as the aforesaid "relationship" with Colin goes, Paul himself finds he reflects on quite what that means when both parties to it are eleven. But that brings us inevitably to consider what any relationship entails. Or as Bowie might have put it - we're just older children after all.
WITH A WINK AND A SMIRK
Just how central is Beverley to the plot? In my view, very much so. The point of the gang for Paul is that it represents his last shot at childhood, and to hang on to that he needs the gang to stretch backwards, not forwards, just as far as crediblity, and credulity, will allow. As a settled couple who are by no means immature for their ages, she and Colin provide that much needed link back to earlier years without being entirely detached from the where the older ones are with their lives. They are the smallest of the bigger kids that feasibility will allow, as it were.
Beverley is too young to be scary like Debbie, or sensual like Tina, and yet she carves her own niche quite effortlessly with a wink and a smirk.