Eleven-year-old Kaden has managed to stay under the radar for most of his life. With the exception of Kubla, a pet crow, Kaden doesn't have any friends his own age and he's okay with that. After all, friends can ask inconvenient questions. Questions like Why do you live with your grandmother and where is your father? Questions Kaden doesn't want to answer. Apart from school and a few trips to town, Kaden and Gram keep to themselves, living a simple life at their cabins outside the small community of Promise. But now Kaden's life is getting a lot more complicated. He's starting middle school, which brings its own set of problems for a boy who doesn't fit in. And then he learns that his father, a man he has never known, is getting out of prison and moving to Promise. After years of being the outsider at school, Kaden is given a chance to come out of his shell when Yo-Yo, a new boy, moves to the area and offers friendship. But can Kaden trust him? Will Yo-Yo be a real friend after he learns about Kaden's father? The true meaning of friendship, love, responsibility, and loyalty is explored in this novel for middle-grade readers.
Seven-year-old Christina desperately wants a dog. When she visits a kennel with her parents, she comes home with Prince, a greyhound recently retired from his champion racing career. Christina is thrilled and spends all her time with her new pal. They are like two peas in a pod. But one day, when Prince is left alone in the backyard, he escapes. Christina's mother searches everywhere for him only to find him at the schoolyard gate waiting for Christina. Promising never to leave him alone in the backyard again, her father brings home a little Chihuahua named Chancho. Now Prince will always have a companion to play with.
After a lifetime of New Age “adventures” with her weirdo hippie mom, fifteen-year-old Maddie is realizing a lifelong dream and visiting New York City. Armed with her 130-item to-do list, Maddie hits the streets of New York with her friend Anna and Anna’s brother, Thomas. Maddie drags her friends around on an epic quest for the ultimate art-show outfit, oblivious to the fact that they don’t share her passion for vintage clothing. Three days into the trip, a most unwelcome surprise--the arrival of Maddie’s mother--threatens to derail the entire adventure. As her mother’s obsession with dietary trends and fortune-tellers takes center stage, and everyone’s tempers get thin, Maddie has to face some ugly facts about how she’s been treating her friends.
Anna is never on any team at school. But she is determined to be part of the annual wreath-laying team at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington. Not until the end of the story do readers discover that Anna is blind.
Matthew lives in an orphanage. He wanted a dog. He received other gifts and things through the years - stuffed animals, toys, snails, even lice - but never a dog. One day Matthew was finally getting new parents, and what did the parents have for him - a dog.
When Jimmy's mother brings home a bag of five beautiful oranges, he wants to keep them all for himself. But his instinct to share with his family and friends is too strong to resist - until he has no oranges left at all! This day, Jimmy will learn a lot about the gift of generosity.
Craig and Tom have been friends since second grade, but that was five years ago and Craig is getting sick of Tom's out-of-bounds behavior. When Craig begins to realize that he may have more potential in school than he ever thought, he starts to distance himself from Tom, who is both the class clown and the school bully. But severing ties with an old friend is never easy, and a foolhardy incident in a local park pulls Craig back into Tom's orbit. Faced with the realities of Tom's home life, Craig must determine the limits of this volatile friendship.