Having a bossy robot for a friend really isn't much fun. Seven-year-old Ben loves pretending to be a robot, but his best friend Jessy is tired of being ordered to oil his knee joints and check his batteries. She says the robot game is boring and runs off to play with someone else. So Ben decides to build a real robot instead. He's built all kinds of things before: wind generators, solar-powered marble launchers, pinball machines. But none of his creations have ever really worked. Until now. When his robot begins talking, Ben is thrilled. However, nothing goes quite the way he thinks it will. Ben's robot is rather difficult to get along with. He complains a lot. He's bossy. He never wants to do anything Ben suggests. Having a real robot isn't nearly as much fun as Ben thought it would be. And to make things worse, no oneâ€”not even Jessyâ€”will believe him.
Matt loves Monster Zap cards. No, no, Matt LOVES Monster Zap cards. He has Monster Zap toys, reads Monster Zap books and wears Monster Zap underwear. Matt and his friends like to trade the cards at school, as the schoolyard is so empty and dirty, there isn't much else for them to do at recess. But when kids start fighting over Monster Zap and the cards are banned, Matt realizes that the school has big problems, maybe even bigger problems than the fights the cards caused. With the help of their teacher, and a superhero in disguise, Matt and his classmates set out to save Monster Zap and end up doing a lot more than that.
Rocks and bugs and kites and more. Reg and Keely are twins. Keely loves painting and bugs. Reg loves rocks. Keely sings crazy rhymes. Reg plays softball. Shawna and Burt are their friends. In this series of linked stories, the children's deep involvement with their daily activities never falters, from a bug walk, through incidents flying a kite and dividing labor at clean up time, to a chance to swim in the river on a hot summer's day.
Friends are not always for keeps. Kate and Jake have always been best friends; always, that is, until Jake's cousin, Lionel, moves nearby and Jake starts spending time with him instead. Kate struggles with his abandonment and her own loneliness as she seeks new friends that share her likes and dislikes. And, perhaps there is a place in her life for her old best friend after all.
Hailey McEwan has many interests soccer, field hockey, animation. She'd probably never have started singing if her best friend, Crissy, hadn't persuaded her to take singing lessons and join her choir. No one had any idea that Hailey would be such a natural, least of all Hailey herself. A shared love of music from pop to opera has been a big part of the girls' friendship, but when the two face off in a competition for a role in a production of The Marriage of Figaro, their closeness turns into a bitter rivalry. Hailey will have to make a tough decision. Is opera as important to her as it is to Crissy? And is landing a role worth losing her best friend?
Brielle and Tawni have played cello side by side in orchestras since they were nine years old. Brielle has always played second chair to Tawnis first, and she's been happy with that arrangement. When Tawni is injured, Brielle suddenly finds herself principal cellist. Not only does that mean she'll be thrust into the spotlight, but it also means she is now leader of the cello section. Brielle is terrified. Is she good enough? Will the other musicians accept her? What if she screws up? Despite her fears, Brielle rises to the occasion. Her cello skills, and her leadership skills, improve as she grows into her new role. But just as Brielle is beginning to feel confident, Tawni returns. And she wants her job back. If Brielle steps down now, she'll lose her place in the spotlight. If she doesn't, her friendship could be in jeopardy.
In Pardon Me, Stella needs to find a new best friend after her friend, Willa, moves away. But finding a new best friend is not easy. Things are looking up when she meets Evie, the new girl in town. She is going to be in Stella's class at school and she needs a new best friend too. Stella can't wait to introduce her to the other third graders. Except when they get to school, things don't exactly go the way Stella planned.