Emily Byrd Starr is the orphaned protaginist of the Emily triology. She yearns to be a writer, and quaint New Moon provides the perfect setting for many of her poems. Other than Teddy, no one thinks Emily is really very pretty. She has long black hair, starry violet eyes, and the ears and hands of an elf. Her nature is an extremely sensitive one, and she feels both pain and beauty keenly. In her 'Jimmy-book' she writes vivid, comical 'character descriptions'. At the beginning of Emily Of New Moon, the only paper Emily can use to write on is the back of old letter bills. On these, she writes poems and letters to her father, addressed, 'on the way to heaven'. Later on, by the end of the first book, she keeps a journal.

Emily also has a sixth sense. Mr Carpenter calls her phychic, and when she is ill with measles, she declares that Isle Burnley's mother fell in the well. She didn't run away. And Emily is right.