Jamie loves sharks. He reads about them. He talks about them. Sometimes he even pretends to be a shark. Too bad no one else wants to join his Shark Club. His peers and parents are quickly growing tired of his current obsession. When Jamie's teacher, Mr. Claxton, brings in a new class pet, Jamie is put in charge. But Jamie has an accident while feeding it, and everyone becomes upset with him. He needs to find a way to make things right. In the end, he comes up with a solution that pleases both his teacher and classmates, a solution that also gives Jamie an opportunity to share his newest obsession--lizards.
Inventors invent inventions! That's what Ben and his best friend Jack like to say. So when Ben discovers that Jack's family is planning to move to another city, he decides they should put their inventions to work. The boys figure that if no one buys Jack's house, Jack won't have to move away, so all they need is a plan to scare off potential buyers! Inventors are good at coming up with plans. But when Plans A, B and C fail to bring the results the boys had hoped for, Ben discovers that not everything in life stays the same-and that while change can be hard, sometimes it isn't all bad.
Jake, Tommy and Lexie are on a ski trip. In an attempt to squeeze one last run in for the day, the kids head out on their own to ski down Easy Street. But Lexie and Jake convince Tommy to try Wildcat Run instead. Wildcat Run presents the young skiers with more than they expect, including a cougar sighting. When Lexie has a bad fall, the kids are left stranded on the hill in the fading daylight. Will they be rescued or will they have to spend the night alone on the mountain with a cougar?
You may think you know the classic story of the Ugly Duckling, but think again. In the capable hands of his alter ego Maynard Moose, renowned storyteller Willy Claflin takes us on a wacky journey where this Uglified Ducky, a hapless young moose, "blunders away" from his home, is mistaken for a baby duck, and endures endless humiliation as he tries to learn to waddle, quack, swim, and fly. Eventually, he finds his true "fambly," who helps him discover his own beauty. In his fractured Moose English, translated in the glossary at front, Maynard relays a surprisingly tender story that echoes the original tale's theme of the struggle to belong and discover your true self. The Uglified Ducky's quest is playfully but sympathetically interpreted in James Stimson's luminous, droll gouache illustrations.
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.
The fourteen personal stories in this delightful coming of age book apply universal elements with characters and situations that everyone will recognize so that only the names, places and times change from our own childhood stories.
The author presents eight short stories about his mother and other family members as they grew up in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.