Twelve-year-old Luke "Spin" Spinelli is sick of fake running, fake laughing and fake pointing. Sure, he once made the cover of Baby Show magazine, but now his secret modeling career is making him miserable. He dreams of using nonwhitening toothpaste. He can't wait to stop styling his hair. And he really wants to stop worrying that the school bully will discover he was once the face of Dribbleez Diapers. After all, Spin's just a normal boy looking for a hockey game and some pizza with extra cheese.
On her seventh birthday, Pauline rode across the lawns on her street followed by her best friend Henry, he on the blue wooden horse, she on the red. On the seventh lawn at the top of the street, she collapsed, becoming a sudden victim of the polio outbreak of the summer of 1954. Five years later, when In the Clear begins, she has survived, but paid a heavy price. A brace on her left leg allows her to walk, but she confines herself to her house, humiliated at the notion of being seen. Terrified by what Pauline has already suffered, her mother watches over her, forbidding her to play hockey on the ice rink her father has created in the backyard. In the Clear alternates, chapter by chapter, between Pauline's horror-filled year in the hospital five years earlier and her struggles to adapt in the present of 1959 and 1960. At the end of the book, her triumphs in past and present come together and she is able to move forward with new friendships, a renewed bond with her mother and, most important, a new faith in herself.
Gina Mendoza is not happy about having to cancel her weekend plans when Ricky Vargas, the son of her mother's old friend Lupe, comes for a visit, especially when she finds out that Ricky is blind.
Jackson knows how to get what he wants. Whether it's sweet-talking his friends into buying lunch or convincing teachers to give him extensions, he feels entitled to take whatever he wants - even a day off school or a new pair of shoes. Now he's set his sights on Abby, a troubled girl fresh out of juvie who only has eyes for Bryce, the go-to dealer of a dangerous new drug called kryptonite.
New Hope Academy, or, as seventeen-year-old Jane Learning likes to call it, No Hope, is a Baptist reform school where Jane is currently being held captive. Of course, smart, sarcastic Jane has no interest in reforming, failing to see any benefit to pretending to play well with others. But then Hannah shows up, a gorgeous bad girl with fiery hair and an even stormier disposition. She shows Jane how to live a full and fulfilling life even when the world tells you you're wrong, and how to believe in a future outside the "prison" walls. Jane soon learns, though, that Hannah is quietly battling some demons of her own.
After being sent from one foster home to another, Patrick finally settles in with the Kellys, where he learns the meaning of trust and how to love when he rescues and takes care of a skunk he names Honey, who was caught in a trap.
What if everything you believed in was a lie? Eric’s old girlfriend moves back to town. Even before he sees her, old feelings stir inside him. Danielle has kept a secret, though. She has never been comfortable in her own skin. Now she identifies as male and goes by Dan. What does it mean to live your truth, and what happens when others are cruelly ignorant? Eric’s honesty and integrity are questioned. Will he let prejudice destroy what was once a deep friendship?