Fifth-grader Laurie Bird Preston is no softball player--basketball is her sport. But with practice, patience, and help from Li Howard and an eccentric old woman with a mysterious past, she might just overcome her obstacles. Timothy Tocher's compelling series of sports books for girls ages 6-13 deal with sports action on the field and emotional issues off the field.
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.
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.
Kate wants to enter the spelling bee, but she doesn't want to compete against her best friend. Kate is determined to win her spelling club's spelling bee, but the competition is fierce. She can almost put up with Violet's relentless claims of superior spelling ability, but when Kate and Jake begin to fight with each other, Kate is miserable. She wants to win the contest, but she doesn't want to lose her best friend.
Lawrence's dimples are far from delightful. Lawrence hates being teased about his dimples, but nothing he does seems to make any difference. Joe goes right on teasing him, and the teasing gets meaner and meaner. Finally, Lawrence notices something about his friend Stewart that may provide the tool he needs to tease-proof himself once and for all.
What are two alien robots, and their new friends Pippa and Troy, to do when the neighborhood bully tries to interfere with their scavenger hunt? Googol and Googolplex are on a mission to learn about Earth by collecting a number of items including a blackbird's song, snowballs and a chocolate bar. Pippa and Troy are happy to help, especially when they get to ride to the North Pole in a spaceship. But when they return, Martin, the bully next-door, sees something that he shouldn't.
When Mike Longridge gets himself in trouble yet again, he is given a choice: juvenile detention or an outdoor program called Explore. He opts for Explore, but soon finds himself wondering how he is going to survive ten months with the hippies and keeners in the program. He's never felt so out of place and is certain he will never get the hang of the outdoor activities. Will Mike go back to his old trouble-making ways or will he finally find a place to belong?