Sam Campbell's school team, the Laggan Lairds, always loses. When someone suggests that their name be the Laggan Lard Butts, Sam thinks the team should change its name. What is a Laird anyway? The basketball coach agrees, and soon the whole school is involved in an election for a new team name. Sam and his friends nominate the name Lard Butts. When the basketball team starts winning games after a warm-up cheer of "Go Lard Butts!" it seems the Lard Butt campaign might actually win the election.
Jim, Mickey and Lisa belong to a secret club called the Sewer Rats. Every Saturday the Sewer Rats reign supreme in paintball wars held in the city's storm drain system. The new kid, Carter, wants to join, but Lisa doesn't want him in the club. When Carter is hurt in his first paintball war, Jim and Mickey suspect that Lisa planned the accident. They try to confront her, but she runs into the tunnels just as a rainstorm begins. Jim and Mickey have to get Lisa out before the tunnels fill with water.
Dorf is all about skateboarding and so far that's worked out fine. But now that he's in a new city, the terrain has changed. He's no longer free to skateboard where he wishes, school is more difficult, and his passion for skateboarding garners him the nickname and reputation of a freak. With daring stunts he gains the grudging respect of local troublemakers, but he needs to tap into another kind of courage to effect real change.
Would-be detectives Trevor, Nick and Robyn are hot on the trail of a sandwich thief when they learn that more than food has been going missing at school. A valuable hockey book has been stolen from the library, and the kids worry that the librarian might lose her job if it isn't found. Who would steal a hockey book? Could it be Robyn's arch-nemesis and hockey enthusiast Cray? Or could it be Ms. Thorson, the Oiler fan teacher? The kids are determined to solve these mysteries even though their sleuthing efforts land them into trouble at every turn.
Keegan Bishop, championship skier, is almost injured in a dangerous trap set for one of his teammates. Snowboard tracks leading away from the trap are the only clue as to who might be responsible. Keegan teaches himself to snowboard so he can find the culprit on the snowboarding slopes. When Keegan discovers that someone has been stealing snowboards and skis at Bear Mountain resort, and the girl he's just met is somehow involved, he must face his fears and test his new snowboarding skills in a run for safety.
Josh knows he's riding recklessly when he knocks down the old man he suspects is the hermit of Lumberman Creek. But he is shocked when the hermit walks into the forest with his bike after the accident. Being without his beloved bike for a week motivates Josh to hike into the woods and confront the crazy old man. The hermit, Jonathan, has fixed Josh's bike, and Josh learns that he has more in common with the old man than he ever imagined. When Jonathan needs help, Josh has to respect the old man's choices in order to save his life.
Finding the "right book" for struggling learners is essential to build both confidence and proficiency. Reading supports must be seamless, so that struggling readers are not stigmatized. The District 13 series does just that--written using carefully chosen vocabulary and simple sentences, the novels offer compelling teen stories about characters that interest young adult readers. Using sports as a backdrop, these edgy and mature titles confront issues that are of great importance to urban teens, especially teenaged boys: Coming of age, dating, fitting in, friendships, drugs, self-esteem, and school. Straightforward plots move readers through the 48-pages of text quickly and efficiently with satisfying resolutions. Synopsis: All Xavier heard was two laps. He just started running! He ran the first lap as fast as he could. He passed everyone! But by the second lap, he was winded. It was hard to breathe. He had no energy. Everyone passed him.