Murphy and his three friends, Danny, Jeff and Albert, are making the transition from the tribal elementary school to the community middle school. They are all trying out for the middle school's soccer team, and they're pretty confident that The Formidable Four will all make the team. But once the tryouts begin, Albert, the tribal-school superstar, plays like a second stringer. Murphy's new friend, Molly, is determined to help the boys find out what's wrong with Albert, but when they discover the truth, they realize that Albert is playing a whole different game.
Life is hard for ten-year-old Safiyah in the Kibera slum outside Nairobi. Too poor to go to school, she makes a meager living for herself and her grandmother Cucu by selling things she finds at the garbage dump. After using scavenged paper to fix up the inside of the hut, Safiyah starts a mural on the outside. As word of the paper house spreads, Safiyah begins to take pride in her creation. When Cucu collapses after a fire, Safiyah stays at the hospital to help care for her grandmother. While Safiyah is away, her friend Pendo works on the mural, which upsets Safiyah. But when Pendo attracts media attention to the paper house, Safiyah and her grandmother are given a chance of a better life.
When it comes to cross-country running, Jake does everything right. He eats all the right foods, trains like crazy and reads articles about running in his spare time. There's nothing easy about running, but the hardest part for Jake is that, at the end of the day, Spencer Solomon always wins first place. Determined to take the lead for once, Jake continues to push himself even more. His rigorous training schedule leaves no time for friends, family, pizza or joking around. When Jake is invited to join the Diamond Running Club, he thinks he's found an opportunity to train harder. Instead, with the help of his coach, Jake begins to rediscover what he used to love about running in the first place.
The summer is off to a lousy start when Levi's bike is stolen from outside the corner store. He feels even worse because he didn't lock it. But when his best friend Riley's locked bike is stolen the very next day, the boys are determined to get both of them back. When they discover there has been a string of bicycle thefts in the area, the friends hatch several plans to find the culprit. There are so many potential suspects--Steve Morrow and his gang, the tattooed guy who sits at the bus stop, the owners of the secondhand-bike store. There's also Emily Grimshaw, Levi's childhood nemesis, who keeps popping up and showing a peculiar interest in the thefts. Does she really want to help or is she involved somehow? And will Levi and Riley ever see their beloved bikes again?
When Gravelmuck Elementarys cleaning slimes escape and destroy the schoolyard with their acidic ooze, all claws and tails point to Mr. Snag, the schools caretaker, as the culprit. Determined to clear Mr. Snags name, Tank and Fizz dive into the case, only to discover that the goop under Rockfall Mountain runs deep. The detective duo must outwit their eight-legged principal and survive an ancient war between high-tech janitors and spell-slinging wizards. Can Tank and Fizz find the real monsters behind the slime stampede in time to clear Mr. Snags name?
Addison Addley hates math. He hates public speaking too. Actually, he hates anything that involves work, but he only has a couple of weeks to write and memorize his grade five speech. The problem is, he cant think of a single topic. When he finally comes up with an excellent idea for a speech, it almost writes itself, but it's his poor math skills that make speech day unforgettable.
Addison's mother wants to sell their comfortable old house and move into a townhouse in a new development across town; a shoe box near a shoe factory, Addison calls it. As usual, Addison's brain goes into overdrive as he tries to solve two problems: first he must get his mother to see their old house in a new light, and then he must figure out who is responsible for a rash of neighborhood break-ins that make his mother feel unsafe. With the help of his friend Sam, he puts his own unique spin on optical illusions (and home decor) and ends up surprising everyone, even himself.