Ava works hard at maintaining a certain image online and at school. As far as anyone else knows, life is great. But when she inherits an African gray parrot from her great-uncle Bernie (whom she barely remembers), Ava’s carefully crafted world starts to crumble. The parrot, Mervin, is loud and messy and obnoxious. Ava’s brother thinks it’s hilarious to post videos of Ava trying to deal with the crazy bird. He even creates a profile for the two of them. Everyone wants to see more of Ava and Mervin. Suddenly, Ava is internet famous—in the worst possible way. Her friends think the parrot is gross and start acting weird. But then a new girl at school helps Ava see that this parrot might not be the worst gift in the world and that just being yourself is the best way to be.
Fourteen-year-old Dylan is sent to live with his estranged grandfather, Angus. Basically strangers, the two avoid each other as best they can. One day Dylan discovers a young orca stranded high up on the rocky beach. Dylan runs to tell his grandfather. There’s nothing that can be done, says Angus. The sun is coming up, and soon the orca will die of exposure. But Dylan knows he has to try to save the whale. He collects towels to cover the delicate skin of the orca and begins transporting buckets of water from the ocean below to keep it hydrated. It’s grueling work, and it will be hours before the tide comes back in and the water is high enough for the orca to swim free. Angus is moved by his grandson’s determination and helps as best he can. They both desperately hope that soon the orca will be able to join its family, who have been calling out to it just offshore.
Moving to a new city and a new school is never easy. So Lauren is relieved when Callie, Treena and Maddy welcome her into their group. But then Lauren witnesses their reaction to a first grader in a wheelchair. That boy is her little brother, Will. But she’s afraid that if she tells them, they may not want to be friends with her. Soon Lauren finds herself living a double life as she struggles with the challenges of building new friendships and trying to make it up to Will for not acknowledging him at school. At some point Lauren will have to make a decision. What is more important? Friends or family?
Most kids don’t have to stress about things like exotic insects with a taste for human flesh when they go to class. But students at this school have to be ever vigilant. You never know when a supernatural pastry or a clay monster bent on revenge might be lurking just around the corner. Even a simple field trip to a local animal sanctuary can have ssserious consequences. Dragged fresh from the grave and pulled out of the haunted corners of a school locker, these thirteen new stories are a nod to the storytelling style of Tales from the Crypt and The Twilight Zone. They are guaranteed to make you laugh like a hyena, shake your head in wonder or tremble with fear. A companion volume to Tales from Beyond the Brain.
Thirteen-year-old Chloë left her whole life back in Montreal, including her mom and her best friend. Now she's stuck in Victoria with her dad and her estranged grandfather, Uli, who recently had a stroke. When Chloë agrees to help Uli look after his garden, she's determined to find out why he and her dad didn't speak to each other for years. For decades Uli has collected seeds from people in the community, distinct varieties that have been handed down through generations. The result is a garden full of unusual and endangered produce, from pink broccoli to blue kale to purple potatoes. But Chloë learns that the garden will soon be destroyed to make way for a new apartment complex. And the seed collection is missing! Chloë must somehow find a way to save her grandfather's legacy.
Resourceful fourteen-year-old Odette is on the move again, traveling as a stowaway on a cheese cart with her hapless mother, Anneline. They are in Burgundy, France, in 1799, fleeing yet another calamity caused by Anneline (who is prone to killing people accidentally). At dawn they find themselves in a town called Nevers, which is filled with eccentric characters, including a man who obsessively smells hands, another who dreams of becoming a chicken and a donkey that keeps the town awake at night, braying about his narrow life. As Odette establishes a home in an abandoned guardhouse, she makes a friend in the relaxed Nicois and finds work as a midwife's assistant. She and Nicois uncover a mystery that may lead to riches and, more important for Odette, a sense of belonging.
Casey Finnegan is a talented skateboarder. He lives to skate. At the end of his final year of high school, Casey is wondering what to do with his life. He hasn't applied to any colleges, and other than skateboarding, he doesn't believe he's very good at much of anything. When a young movie star contacts Casey and offers him the job of stunt double in an upcoming skateboarding movie, Casey is stoked. It's his dream job, and Casey jumps at the opportunity to train the star. But when word gets out about Casey's new gig, a local skater has other ideas about who would make the best stunt double.
Sixteen-year-old Spencer loves his job at the local racing stable, but when he becomes convinced that someone is drugging the racehorse Lord of the Flies, no one believes him. In an effort to find out who is behind a dangerous race-fixing scheme, he takes on some of the most unsavory members of the track community. By refusing to turn a blind eye, Spencer risks losing those he cares most about, including Em, the stableowner's niece.
Jack Spencer has more to worry about than being kicked off his high school's basketball team. He uncovers suspicious circumstances surrounding the car crash that severely injured his mother and learns of his father's arrest for fraud. Jack's dad is tough on him, but he has learned to live with it. For the most part, he has it pretty good. Jack is a star player on his high school basketball team with everything going for him-scoring records, popularity and an easy path to a college scholarship. Almost as fast as the crash that put his mom in the hospital, everything Jack believes in starts to crumble. His only hope is to discover what's really going on, and quickly. If he doesn't, Jack may lose much more than a basketball career.
Jim Webb’s pursuit of the truth about his grandfather’s role in the Vietnam War puts him squarely in the sights of someone high up in the US military—someone who wants certain events from that war left in the past. Webb goes on the run in the American Deep South with Lee, a Vietnam vet, trying to smoke out the man they call the Bogeyman by using Webb as bait. The Bogeyman may be powerful and smart, but Webb and Lee, with the help of a few of Lee’s old army buddies (and one motorcycle-riding girl), are ready to take him down. Tin Soldier is the sequel to both Barracuda, part of The Seven Prequels and Devil's Pass, part of Seven (The Series).
Ray Hockaday plays center for the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Western Hockey League. He's spent his hockey career hiding something from the world. When his new Russian room-mate shows up, Ray is assigned to help Vlad get used to life in Canada. What Ray doesn't know is that Vlad is also hiding something. And that secret could get both of them killed.
Hockey stars Mike "Crazy" Keats and his new friend, Dakota, are caught in a web of violence which makes winning a championship the least of their concerns. Dakota Smith is in trouble. But Mike "Crazy" Keats doesn't care. He is new to the Seattle Thunderbirds, and Dakota seems like a good guy to have for a friend. Unfortunately, not everyone accepts Dakota's Native North American heritage so easily.
After a hang glider crashes into the pool of the house where Dinah and Madge are house-sitting, the hapless pilot creates more than a splash of suspicion in Dinah's mind. Why does this itchy intruder make off with Dinah's inflatable turtle? Why is someone trying to drive their cat-mad neighbor away? And what is the connection with the balding stranger seen lurking behind the hedge? And when Madge's boyfriend starts a campaign to save the endangered spotted owl, it seems that a crooked politician may be out to destroy the habitat of the near-extinct animal. While Madge paints, Dinah brushes aside suggestions that she be a quiet, well-behaved guest in this posh North Vancouver neighborhood. There's just too much for Dinah and her friends—tree-fanatic Pantelli and irritatingly conscientious Talbot—to investigate in this hilariously suspenseful adventure. Along with learning about endangered animals and fragile ecosystems, Dinah runs across clueless reporters and greedy developers, all the while continuing to belt out her favorite songs and satisfy her healthy appetite.
Byron is psyched when his older brother Jesse invites him on a weekend caving trip—even if it means spending time with Cole, Jesse's obnoxious college roommate. With Jesse's girlfriend Michelle rounding out the group, Byron is sure the excursion will be a success. Things get tense when they near the cave, only to find that the way in is blocked. Byron stumbles on the entrance to a new cave, but the thrill of his discovery is overshadowed by Cole's increasingly strange behavior. Exploring a wild cave is always dangerous, but it becomes deadly as tempers fray and the water level inside the cave starts to rise. When an underground confrontation leaves his brother seriously injured, Byron has to make some life-or-death decisions—and every second counts.
Katie and Rusty are heading East. Fresh from their thrilling adventures in Alberta, facing down devious developers, the cousins have made their way to Aunt Margaret's farm in Saskatchewan. After rescuing her aunt when she is trapped under a piece of farm equipment and learning of other acts of possible sabotage, Katie decides that she has found another mystery to solve. Puzzled by the changes they notice in their cousin Megan, and alarmed by a series of threatening phone calls, Katie and Rusty embark on another adventure. With no shortage of suspects—from Cousin Megan to the jilted boyfriend and the controlling farmhand—the two detectives find themselves in deeper than they thought and are soon in real danger.
Sixteen-year-old Salvador "Slam" Amaro thinks being the assistant coach of the Brookfield High School girls' basketball team will be an easy gig. Show up, run a few drills and pad his resumé so he can win a spot on the Ontario Provincial Under-17 team. But Slam's job suddenly gets a lot harder when the girls' coach and her daughter, the star point-guard, vanish after being threatened. Getting to the bottom of their disappearance puts Slam in confrontation with a mysterious stalker. But that's not his only problem. With the girls facing playoff elimination, Slam has to come up with some new coaching strategies while he battles some tough competitors for a place on the Ontario squad.
It's all aboard! for mystery when Dinah Galloway takes the cross-country train from Vancouver to Toronto, to appear on a TV talent show. But will she make it-or be permanently derailed? Along with her sister Madge, and her fellow junior musicians, tree fanatic Pantelli Audia and history buff Talbot St. John, Dinah is shadowed by someone who wants to get hold of an $80,000 treasure left by her late dad. But what is the treasure? The redheaded, singing sleuth realizes that the secret dwells somewhere in her dad's murky past, and involves a funny, if less than respectable, ex-con named Ardle McBean, and a mysterious man with a bowl cut. The mystery accelerates when Dinah's sweet, elderly piano teacher, also on the train, disappears and the danger to Dinah increases. She struggles to keep on the tracks of the mystery before the shadows, past and present, overwhelm her. This is the fifth installment in the best-selling Dinah Galloway Mystery series.
Trenton Hiser is trying to walk in the footsteps of his uncle, Mike Hiser, a successful Hollywood director. During Trenton's summer vacation, he goes with his uncle to film the inside story of Scarlet Thunder, a top-level stock-car racing team. As they film the action, too many things go wrong, deadly mistakes are made and Trenton finds out that much more than the race is at stake.
Dylan is back, and this time he is making a movie, The Rise of the Zombie Scarecrows, with his best friend, Cory, and his girlfriend, Monica. The film is for school credit, and their plan is to film on Halloween. Everything is falling into place until Dylan and Monica encounter a zombie scarecrow that causes Mr. Dalton, a friend of Dylan’s grandmother, to have a heart attack. Dylan and Monica learn that a couple of zombie scarecrows are pranking a local neighborhood. The police shut down Dylan’s project until the pranksters are caught. But Dylan is determined to see his film through to completion, no matter what the cost.
At 17, star defenseman Craig McElhaney likes his chances of making it as a pro hockey player. Yet, a string of recent "accidents" threatens to knock his team out of the playoffs and ruin his promising career. Craig has begun to question how many "accidents" can happen before they become more than a coincidence. But it's not a good time for questions. Not in the spotlight of high-pressure hockey. Not when the team needs him most. And not when he has some important lessons to learn about life. For Craig, however, there is no choice. Unless the questions are answered, the team's season and his promising career will surely end.
Travis and his best friends Ryan and Jasper live for the thrill of watching their horses race. When a thief starts hacking off the tails of Standardbred horses stabled at Blackdown Park, suddenly the track isn't such a great place to hang out. Things get even more unpleasant when a troubled girl comes between Travis and his friends. Travis has to make some tough choices, but how can he stand by his friends when he no longer trusts them?
Steve thinks a trip to Europe is out of the question—until he hears his grandfather's will. Suddenly he's off to Spain, armed with only a letter from his grandfather that sends him to a specific address in Barcelona. There he meets a girl named Laia and finds a trunk containing some of his grandfather's possessions, including a journal he kept during the time he fought with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. Steve decides to trace his grandfather's footsteps through Spain, and with Laia's help, he visits the battlefields and ruined towns that shaped his grandfather's young life, and begins to understand the power of history and the transformative nature of passion for a righteous cause. Steve's adventures start in The Missing Skull, part of The Seven Prequels and continue in Broken Arrow, part of The Seven Sequels.
Darren Dirkowitz thought his life was over when his tippity-top-secret alter ego, Dirk Daring, Secret Agent, was outed to the entire Preston Middle School student body. If only he’d been so lucky. Now the Wolf Lords—a gang of teen thugs bent on wringing every last penny out of Preston students—are breathing down his neck. There’s only one solution: Dirk Daring must embark on his most daring mission yet. A mission so audacious, so cunning, so doggone crazy, that if it succeeds, the Wolf Lords will wind up begging for mercy. But first, Darren must bring his own disobedient “associates” to heel. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie is the sequel to the runaway bestseller Dirk Daring, Secret Agent.
Izzy and Julia have been on the same team for years. Izzy is frustrated that Julia spends too much time cherry-picking and getting all the credit when they score. But when someone starts threatening the team and their home field is sabotaged, the friends must work together to find the answers. Why would someone threaten their star player? And what is the connection to a century-old train robbery and the rumor of buried treasure? Trying to solve the mystery and keep the team in the playoff race, Izzy and Julia find themselves in deeper than they thought, and in more danger than they imagined.
Reese loves horses and longs to be a competitive show jumper. When the leased horse she rides is sold, she is left riding the orneriest horse in the stable. She decides she must find a horse of her own. Her parents can't afford a trained horse, so she decides to buy a wild horse at auction. Outbid, she discovers that many of the wild horses will be sold for slaughter. Determined to save the horses from a terrible fate, she finds herself in deeper than she expected—and fighting for her life.