Lissa is the new kid in town. She is lonely and she blames her mother and her mother's new husband for her troubles. To make matters worse, she has to look after a boy who believes that his dead mother's spirit lives on in the red-tailed hawk that he secretly keeps captive. Ironically, the resulting adventure takes Lissa's mind off her own troubles and gets her a friend to boot!
Matt loves Monster Zap cards. No, no, Matt LOVES Monster Zap cards. He has Monster Zap toys, reads Monster Zap books and wears Monster Zap underwear. Matt and his friends like to trade the cards at school, as the schoolyard is so empty and dirty, there isn't much else for them to do at recess. But when kids start fighting over Monster Zap and the cards are banned, Matt realizes that the school has big problems, maybe even bigger problems than the fights the cards caused. With the help of their teacher, and a superhero in disguise, Matt and his classmates set out to save Monster Zap and end up doing a lot more than that.
Brielle and Tawni have played cello side by side in orchestras since they were nine years old. Brielle has always played second chair to Tawnis first, and she's been happy with that arrangement. When Tawni is injured, Brielle suddenly finds herself principal cellist. Not only does that mean she'll be thrust into the spotlight, but it also means she is now leader of the cello section. Brielle is terrified. Is she good enough? Will the other musicians accept her? What if she screws up? Despite her fears, Brielle rises to the occasion. Her cello skills, and her leadership skills, improve as she grows into her new role. But just as Brielle is beginning to feel confident, Tawni returns. And she wants her job back. If Brielle steps down now, she'll lose her place in the spotlight. If she doesn't, her friendship could be in jeopardy.
Hailey McEwan has many interests soccer, field hockey, animation. She'd probably never have started singing if her best friend, Crissy, hadn't persuaded her to take singing lessons and join her choir. No one had any idea that Hailey would be such a natural, least of all Hailey herself. A shared love of music from pop to opera has been a big part of the girls' friendship, but when the two face off in a competition for a role in a production of The Marriage of Figaro, their closeness turns into a bitter rivalry. Hailey will have to make a tough decision. Is opera as important to her as it is to Crissy? And is landing a role worth losing her best friend?
Jane has no interest in boys. Her mom, Sherry, has brought home so many creeps over the years that Jane has decided to focus for the next five years on her studies. Her best friend, the boy-crazy Kiara, is obsessed with online quizzes and convinces Jane to help her create a questionnaire that will determine whether muscular Liam or Omar with the cute eyes is her true soul mate. Their friendship is tested when the answers come back with a surprising third option, the quiet and awkward Javier. Jane fails to reveal the results, which leads to some heated words being exchanged and long-held resentments (and possible secret crushes) being revealed. One of the besties will have to swallow her pride to make the first move and try to repair the damage.
Daniel Abel is surprised when, instead of being punished for "pantsing" another eighth-grader, he is invited to become an ambassador of Mountview High at the school's upcoming open house. What he doesn't realize is that he is part of a social experiment on bullying being conducted by the local university. He is a little nervous to learn he will be working with Jeff Kover, a tenth-grader with a reputation for being the biggest bully in the school. Daniel has never thought of himself as a bully. He just likes kidding around. But hanging out with Jeff will change Daniel's perspective on bullying and force him to examine his own behavior.
On a visit to a seaside town in Australia, fifteen-year-old Sam meets Annabel, who works at the local museum. Annabel's interest in history is infectious, and Sam soon finds himself eager to hunt for the remains of a boat called the Mahogany Ship—a shipwreck sought after by many. When a storm creates an erosion hole that exposes a structure, Sam and Annabel are convinced it's the fabled ship. Soon all of the museum staff are at the erosion site to check it out. But the same storm also destroys the museum's power; someone knows the alarms aren't working and steals the museum's most treasured artifact, a large porcelain peacock worth $4 million. As Sam and Annabel search for the thief, they realize there may be a link between the fabled shipwreck and the recent theft.