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Vandalism

Evan Jacobs (author)

Publisher: Saddleback Educational Publishing ISBN: 9781630785864

Someone has tagged the science building at Walden Lane High School. Ashley Moore is upset. School is supposed to be a safe place, and now she no longer feels safe. Students from the Key Club decide an act of community service is in order. The students organize and repaint the tagged wall during their lunch break and after school. They plan a fundraiser to pay for new glass for the painted windows. Kayla Flores agrees to paint after senior class president Alex Torres says he'll give her a signed program from Wicked. When Ashley gets the program from Alex's trunk, she finds cans of spray paint in the same color used to tag the school. Why would a star student on a full ride to USC wreck the school? Ashley is stunned and angry. After her confrontation with Alex, she questions her compassion and rigidity. Will Alex do the right thing? What, exactly, is the right thing to do? Walden Lane is a quintessential small city. And these chapter books describe a typical American family, with busy schedules and the usual problems. The series explores suburban life in a fun way, with topics appropriate for younger readers. These gentle reads are innocent, hopeful, and sometimes funny, with no unsettling surprises or storylines. Each book is 5,000 words (approx.) and 10 chapters.

Hike

Evan Jacobs (author)

Publisher: Saddleback Educational Publishing ISBN: 9781630785871

Marlon and Steve are going camping with their dads in the rural mountain town of Dry Oak. To Marlon's disappointment, there is no cell service at the campsite. What will he do without his phone? Marlon and Steve are playing a new video game from the creator of Clan Castles, and it's rad. Now the online players will be ahead of him. Whatever! The trip is only for three days. Marlon helps with the tent. He goes fishing. The camp food is actually good. But he wants more adventure and excitement, so he convinces Steve to go on a night hike. There are no lights on their trail, and it's darn cold. The boys get more than they expect when they get lost. When they spy a house in the woods, all Marlon can think of is a horror movie. And he takes off when he hears a terrifying sound, thinking his buddy is right behind him. But Steve has gone into the house! Walden Lane is a quintessential small city. And these chapter books describe a typical American family, with busy schedules and the usual problems. The series explores suburban life in a fun way, with topics appropriate for younger readers. These gentle reads are innocent, hopeful, and sometimes funny, with no unsettling surprises or storylines. Each book is 5,000 words (approx.) and 10 chapters.

Outdoor Ed Invasion

Evan Jacobs (author)

Publisher: Saddleback Educational Publishing ISBN: 9781630785895

The eighth graders at Walden Lange Middle School are super excited. They are going to outdoor education camp. Five days in the mountains with their friends. No siblings. No parents. No homework. Sure, it's school. But the kids will be studying nature. Marlon and his friends can't wait. On the way to camp, Marlon streams the news on his phone. He learns that there has been a prison break in a nearby town. But who cares? Arrow Pines is large. The chance of anything happening in the middle of nowhere is remote. Once they arrive at camp, everyone stows their gear and preps for a hike. But Marlon is a slowpoke. He and Steve miss the hike. While searching for their group, they come across an old cabin. It's a wreck. And who are those two bearded and dirty men hiding out inside? Oh no! The escaped prisoners! Walden Lane is a quintessential small city. And these chapter books describe a typical American family, with busy schedules and the usual problems. The series explores suburban life in a fun way, with topics appropriate for younger readers. These gentle reads are innocent, hopeful, and sometimes funny, with no unsettling surprises or storylines. Each book is 5,000 words (approx.) and 10 chapters.

Chopped!

Jeff Gottesfeld (author)

Publisher: Saddleback Educational Publishing ISBN: 9781612476865

High school freshman Robinson "Robin" Paige lives with his grandmother, Miz Paige, on the meanest street in the city. Miz Paige is his rock. Sly and Kaykay have been his buddies since forever. Smart, stoic, and loyal, Robin's life has been defined by loss. And he doesn't want another tragedy, so he lives afraid to stand or speak out. But then he gets pushed to the edge. Somehow, someway, he will get back at the Ninth Street Rangers...Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor takes on a whole new meaning--At the new auto repair business, Robin noticed a Lamborghini. He thought there'd be other cool cars in the alley behind the shop, but there was nothing, not even a garage door. Cars were going in. None were coming out.

Disconnect

Lois Peterson (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459801455

Since moving hundreds of miles to a new school, Daria has become increasingly dependent on her cell phone. Texts, Facebook and phone calls are her only connection to her friends in Calgary, and Daria needs to know everything that is going on at home to feel connected to her old life. Her cell phone habit looks a lot like addiction to her mother and to her new friend Cleo. Daria dismisses the idea of technology addiction as foolish until her habit puts a life in danger.

Kasey & Ivy

Alison Hughes (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459815759

Through twenty-six letters to her friend Nina, twelve-year-old Kasey chronicles the often humorous observations and impressions of her unexpected, month-long stay in a geriatric ward for the treatment of a rare but treatable bone disease ("osteo-something-something-itis"). Kasey tries to make her life less dull by wearing her own nightgowns, surrounding herself with her favorite stuffies and developing an unusual exercise routine. Hospital food, insomnia and the germy communal bath are enduring sources of dread, but some new (and unexpected) friends make her life bearable.

Shadow

Mere Joyce (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459816459

Fourteen-year-old Preston Craft is organizing a film festival for his school's film club. When one of the films goes missing two days before the festival begins, Preston is convinced it was stolen and is determined to get it back. The only indication of the theft is a suspicious shadow that Preston noticed right before he discovered the film was gone - but Preston is legally blind and no one quite believes him. However, not unlike the gritty private eyes in the classic black-and-white films he adores, Preston refuses to give up. Can he solve the mystery based on such a shady clue?

Winter Road

Kristin Butcher (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459815513

Sixteen-year-old Kat and her mom haven't seen much of each other since Kat's father died last year. Her mom has taken over the family trucking business and has been away a lot. She promised that Kat could join her on her next run, a journey across the frozen Manitoba lake known as the "winter road." But at the last minute she changes her mind. Kat, who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, stows away in the back of the semi instead. By the time her mother discovers her, it's too late to turn back.

Casting Lily

Holly Bennett (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814516

Fourteen-year-old Ava is thrilled when she lands a part in a play based on the true story of orphans sent to Canada in the 1800s to work on farms. But is she good enough to hold her own in a professional production? As the rehearsal pressures crank up, Ava struggles with her character, with the vocal demands of outdoor theater and with the annoying ego of her castmate Kiefer. But as she learns more about the historical Lily on which her part is based, things begin to fall into place. Then one bad decision jeopardizes Ava's chances of being able to perform on opening night.

True Blue

Sigmund Brouwer, Cindy Morgan (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459815810

Elle is on the road as an opening act for Johnny James, the biggest star in country music. Touring is everything she's ever dreamed of, but it has unexpected downsides: crazy fans, jealous backup singers, weird rules on the tour bus. But when something goes terribly wrong during a performance, Elle struggles to figure out how she can make things right with her fans, her father, her record company and with her friend Webb. True Blue continues the story that began in Billboard Express.

Escalate

Sigmund Brouwer (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814851

Team Retribution has been contacted by a teen who is being blackmailed into handing over secrets from the family business. Jace, with the help of his brother, Bentley, start to investigate and soon learn that the teen's family, like his own, is not what it appears to be. Jace, after learning he was switched at birth, then sets out to track down his birth family. The Retribution series is made up of six books, the original three, Burned, Exposed and Unleashed, and the three sequels, Terminate, Infiltrate and Escalate, by authors Natasha Deen, Judith Graves and Sigmund Brouwer.

Slip Jig Summer

Elizabeth J. M. Walker (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459817449

Fifteen-year-old Natalie is obsessed with ballet and plans to spend the entire summer in dance class with her two best friends. But when her mom gets a job out of town, Natalie gets shipped off to stay with cousins she barely knows. Natalie is thrilled when her cousins invite her to join them at the local dance studio. But it turns out it's not a ballet class; it's Irish dance. Skeptical at first, Natalie is surprised to learn she really enjoys the new dance style and agrees to take part in an upcoming competition. But this new passion could result in Natalie having to leave her ballet dreams behind.

Walking Trees

Roberta Simpson Brown (author)

Publisher: August House ISBN: 9780874831436

There are trees that walk, statues that accuse, and white-faced ticket-takers with gentle names like Dave that send people on very long journeys. These stories are short, creepy, and perfect for reading around a campfire when the sky is full of stars.

Running Full Tilt

Michael Currinder (author)

Publisher: Charlesbridge ISBN: 9781580898027

Praised by Jack Gantos, author of Dead End in Norvelt, as "a quick read with a kick at the finish," this debut novel sensitively and memorably captures a teen runner's relationship with his autistic older brother. Like most siblings, Leo and Caleb have a complicated relationship. But Caleb's violent outbursts literally send Leo running. When the family is forced to relocate due to Caleb's uncontrollable behavior, Leo tries to settle into a new school, joining the cross-country team and discovering his talent for racing and endurance for distance. Things even begin to look up for Leo when he befriends Curtis, a potential state champion who teaches Leo strategy and introduces him to would-be girlfriend, Mary. But Leo's stability is short-lived as Caleb escalates his attacks on his brother, resentful of his sport successes and new friendships. Leo can't keep running away from his problems. But, with a little help from Curtis and Mary, he can appreciate his worth as a brother and his own capacity for growth, both on and off the field.

Rickshaw Girl

Mitali Perkins (author) Jamie Hogan (illustrator)

Publisher: Charlesbridge ISBN: 9781607341406

Naima is a talented painter of traditional alpana patterns, which Bangladeshi women and girls paint on their houses for special celebrations. But Naima is not satisfied just painting alpana. She wants to help earn money for her family, like her best friend, Saleem, does for his family. When Naima's rash effort to help puts her family deeper in debt, she draws on her resourceful nature and her talents to bravely save the day. Includes a glossary of Bangla words and an author's note about a changing Bangladesh and microfinance.

Saturdays with Hitchcock

Ellen Wittlinger (author)

Publisher: Charlesbridge ISBN: 9781580897754

Twelve-year-old movie-loving Maisie is in need of a distraction from her current romantic dilemma when her Uncle Walt comes to stay with her family after being hurt on the set of the movie he's filming in Hollywood. Maisie's best friend, Cyrus, has been hanging out a lot with Gary Hackett, whose last-name sounds to Maisie like a cat barfing up a hairball. When it seems as if Hackett might like Maisie romantically, she's none too pleased, and Cyrus is even less impressed. Uncle Walt has a way of pointing Maisie in the right direction, and Maisie's love of movies also keeps her centered. Heading to the local independent theater on Saturdays to see old movies helps Maisie stay grounded as she struggles with growing up, family tensions, a grandma who seems to be losing her memory, and a love triangle she never expected.

A Long Pitch Home

Natalie Dias Lorenzi (author)

Publisher: Charlesbridge ISBN: 9781580898263

Ten-year-old Bilal liked his life back home in Pakistan. He was a star on his cricket team. But when his father suddenly sends the family to live with their aunt and uncle in America, nothing is familiar. While Bilal tries to keep up with his cousin Jalaal by joining a baseball league and practicing his English, he wonders when his father will join the family in Virginia. Maybe if Bilal can prove himself on the pitcher’s mound, his father will make it to see him play. But playing baseball means navigating relation-ships with the guys, and with Jordan, the only girl on the team—the player no one but Bilal wants to be friends with. A sensitive and endearing contemporary novel about family, friends, and assimilation.

Falcon Wild

Terry Lynn Johnson (author)

Publisher: Charlesbridge ISBN: 9781632896018

An action-packed, contemporary novel about surviving in the wilderness. Thirteen-year-old Karma is desperate to become a certified falconer. At her dad's bird education center, she helps give demonstrations to guests and can fly the birds. But when her favorite rescued falcon, Stark, hurts Karma, her parents insist that they return the bird to its previous owner -- in Canada. On the way to bring Stark back, a car accident in the middle of nowhere leaves Karma's dad trapped, and it's up to Karma to find a way to rescue him and her younger brother. When Karma loses her way trying to get help, she crosses paths with Cooper, a troubled teenaged boy. Lost for three days, the two figure out how to survive, and Karma teaches Stark to hunt like an actual bird of prey. Karma may be closer than she thinks to becoming a real falconer and having a real friend.

Like Vanessa

Tami Charles (author)

Publisher: Charlesbridge ISBN: 9781580897778

Middle graders will laugh and cry with thirteen-year-old Vanessa Martin as she tries to be like Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America. In this semi-autobiographical debut novel set in 1983, Vanessa Martin's real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage. She struggles with a mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence. But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa's view of her own world begins to change. Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn't need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty.

Junkyard Dog

Monique Polak (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554691555

Justin is fascinated with the aged guard dog at the corner store. He names it Smokey and sneaks the dog treats. Smokey belongs to a company that supplies working dogs to local businesses. Justin is thrilled to get a job working for Smokey's company, until he learns about the mistreatment of the animals. When Justin can't shake his suspicion that someone in the company is involved in a rash of thefts, he tries to quit. But Justin knows too much, and his boss won't let him go.

In the Paint

Jeff Rud (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551437989

For as long as he can remember, Matt has wanted to play basketball. Now, as he tries out for the team at his new middle school, he realizes that the easy days of elementary ball are over and that this is a much more serious game. Dealing with a hard-driving coach, competitive teammates and his own insecurities in a new school, Matt needs to call on all his skills, both on and off the court, to make the team and keep his head above water. When he is involved, albeit unwittingly, in tagging a store with racist graffiti, Matt finds himself in more trouble than he bargained for. And when he fights back against an aggressive teammate and is threatened with suspension from the team, he learns that it is not only game-time decisions that count, but also the choices made after the crowd has gone home and the gym is silent.

Book 8: Scarlet Portal

Dax Varley (author)

Publisher: ABDO ISBN: 9781532130090

Max’s mom is alive and recovering. But the demons are still out there. And the Scarlet Portal will open soon. Can Max stop the demons and close the portal to save humanity? What will he have to sacrifice? Aligned to Common Core standards and correlated to state standards. Spellbound is an imprint of Magic Wagon, a division of ABDO.

Fighting the Legend

Andrew Bacskai (author)

Publisher: Saddleback Educational Publishing ISBN: 9781602919488

Finding the "right book" for struggling learners is essential to build both confidence and proficiency. Reading supports must be seamless, so that struggling readers are not stigmatized. The District 13 series does just that--written using carefully chosen vocabulary and simple sentences, the novels offer compelling teen stories about characters that interest young adult readers. Using sports as a backdrop, these edgy and mature titles confront issues that are of great importance to urban teens, especially teenaged boys: Coming of age, dating, fitting in, friendships, drugs, self-esteem, and school. Straightforward plots move readers through the 48-pages of text quickly and efficiently with satisfying resolutions. Synopsis: No one ever caught Ty in the open. Ty jogged back to the huddle. His teammates slapped his back. Ty was their star running back. But he hadn't been running well lately. At the snap, Ty broke right again. But he tripped and fell. The ball bounced away.

Gold

John Wilson (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814820

Sam and Annabel are on vacation with Annabel's parents in Italy. While visiting the small hilltop town of Civita, they hear rumors of looted gold from World War II buried somewhere in the town's network of underground tunnels and caves. Once again the two friends cross paths with their old nemesis, Humphrey Battleford, but he is not the only one in pursuit of the gold. An intimidating man named Kurt, the grandson of a ruthless Nazi, is also snooping around. After Annabel is kidnapped, Sam must solve the mystery of the hidden treasure to save his friend. This is the fourth mystery featuring Sam and Annabel, after Stolen, Bones and Lost.

Camped Out

Daphne Greer (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459815421

Max knows his mom can't afford to send him to summer camp. But he really, really wants to go. He needs a break from looking after his autistic brother, Duncan. And from his mom's new boyfriend. He is surprised when his mom says that he can go after all. But there's a catch. There are spots available at the camp for families with special needs. A grant would cover Duncan's fees, and Max could attend at no charge. If he goes as Duncan's escort. This is the second story featuring Max and Duncan after Maxed Out.