Jessica loves her yearly backpacking trip with her father, but this year everything has changed. This year Jessica has to share her vacation with her new stepmother and her spoiled new stepsister, Amy. Jessica tries to salvage her holiday by sneaking off for a day hike alone, but Amy follows. Jessica is certain that Amy will ruin the day. Amy rises to the challenge of the rigourous hike and Jessica learns that Amy is not as spoiled as she thought. When Amy is injured and night falls, Jessica must face the challenge of hiking through bear country in the dark.
Rufus and his sister Alexa hate each other at the best of times. When Rufus's friend Phil manages to hypnotize Alexa, Rufus is ready to enjoy the power. They begin by ordering Alexa to be kind to her parents and Phil. The plan backfires when Alexa sweetly suggests canceling an expensive family vacation in favor of a week at home playing board games. Then Alexa turns on the charm with Phil and suddenly Rufus has to deal with a lovesick amateur hypnotist. Rufus is certain it can't get any stranger until Alexa, still in her hypnotic state, is kind to the brother she's always hated and Rufus is more confused than he's ever been.
Liza, determined to prove that her mother's boyfriend is no good, starts researching the oil company he works for. Liza discovers a lawsuit against the company for compensation that is long overdue to Guatemalan farmers. She starts a group at school called GRRR! (Girls for Renewable Resources, Really!) and launches an attack on Argenta Oil. As her activism activities increase, her objections to her mother's boyfriend become political. She is learning to separate the personal from the political, but when her mother discovers her plans for a demonstration outside the Argenta Oil head office, the two collide in ways Liza least suspected.
Sam's grandfather vanished from his life the day Sam's father was buried. Now, ten years later, Grandpa Max wants to make amends. He sends letters that lead Sam on a scavenger hunt. Sam follows his grandfather's bizarre instructions though he's still not ready to forgive. To alleviate his anger at his grandfather, Sam turns to his favorite stress release: climbing onto roofs and leaving his tag, a spray painted symbol for Aquarius. When he gets caught by an elderly couple, Sam learns a valuable lesson about forgiveness. He's ready to forgive his grandfather, but is he too late?
Wendy was always being forgetful. She never turns off lights, or the TV and always leaves the fridge open when searching for a snack. When her mom tells here that is like throwing money down the drain Wendy finally thinks she understands. She starts to empty the money from her piggy bank down the drain until her mom explains that was just a figure of speech.
These high-interest novels feature characters in situations encountered by real-life teens everyday. The student body of Dawson High study hard, date, root for the home team, hold down part-time jobs, succeed and fail, just like most American teenagers. Characters are faced with tough choices- and must decide and react based on their principles. However, choices are complicated and learning to do the right thing is almost never easy. When opposing teams stay at the same motel, the coaches give the players strict rules to follow. Be polite and keep to yourselves. At first Rick appears to be cooperative, but Cole begins to question his actions. When Garrett goes missing, Rick acts strangely. What has he been up to?
These high-interest novels feature characters in situations encountered by real-life teens everyday. The student body of Dawson High study hard, date, root for the home team, hold down part-time jobs, succeed and fail, just like most American teenagers. Characters are faced with tough choices- and must decide and react based on their principles. However, choices are complicated and learning to do the right thing is almost never easy. Choosing between keeping a promise and keeping a friend is tough. Josh's first few days of driving without an adult passenger may be cut short if his dad learns that Josh drives Cooper and Nikki to the dance. Josh made a promise to his dad, but he wants to help out his friend. How will Josh's dad react to a broken promise?