The pitching machine hurled the first pitch. It was just like at the cages. Carlos was comfortable. He lifted his left leg slightly. Then he turned his hips to the ball. He swung the bat. Crack!
Terrance thought about football. He was sore from practice. That was good. Coach Fisher said his blocks were better. He'd get to play in the game! Coach was right about football. You've got to have something to work for. It makes you work at everything.
When Colin accepts the job to clean up the graffiti in an upscale neighborhood he worries that he might be targeted by gangs. But he didn't expect to become a suspect in a series of robberies. Every time he is sent to clean up graffiti, the police are nearby investigating a crime. Colin knows he's done nothing wrong, but even he acknowledges his presence at the crime scenes looks suspicious. The only way he can clear his name is to figure out what is really going on.
Dan is not sure he'll survive the boring field trip to a remote heritage farm. How could a place with no running water, telephone or electricity be anything but dull? The farmer knows nothing about farming and is angry about having to conduct the tour. And what's with his tattoo? The teacher requests a private word with the farmer and then mysteriously disappears. After a messy attack of allergies, Dan is excused to find a tissue. He sneaks back to the school bus and discovers the driver and teacher have been bound and gagged. The farmer is really an escaped convict with nasty plans. Will Dan be able to find help in time?
Lizzie Lane is used to life at the top of the food chain. Her near-perfect life is ruined when Rachel, a girl she socially destroyed, exacts her revenge by getting Lizzie in trouble for cheating on a test. Friendless and facing detention, Lizzie obsesses over finding the perfect revenge. When Stella, Lizzie's strange new neighbor, teaches Lizzie about magick, Lizzie can't resist creating a revenge spell. But she forgets the "rule of three," that whatever spell you cast comes back on you three-fold, and her zit spell backfires with dramatic results. When she asks for help from Stella's Baba, the only advice she gets is to "write the lesson of the zit on her heart." Can Lizzie find a way to teach Rachel a lesson without causing permanent disfigurement to herself?
Emery's neighbor, Richard, is the kind of kid who gets under your skin. When Richard suggests a game of "Nicky Nicky Nine Doors," Emery can't come up with a good excuse not to play. Using chocolate bars as "stunt poo," the boys start playing the classic prank of the burning bag on the doorstep, but this game has a modern twist. They videotape their neighbors' reactions. The naked guy and the man in the apron are highly entertaining, but Emery starts to get cold feet when another neighbor is reduced to tears. Emery wants out, but he's not sure how to stop the game without losing face. Soon the game gets serious, and Emery has a lot more to worry about than his reputation.
Sable wears only black and has always felt that doom is near. Lacey wears pink and seeks beauty everywhere. A sadistic art teacher pairs Sable and Lacey together for their final project. The girls have to get to know one another and select a suitable poem for the back of each other's decorative mirror. Sable is less than thrilled at having to spend time with Lacey, who she believes to be nothing more than a brainless doll. As the project progresses, and Sable gets past her resentment, she learns some surprising truths about who Lacey really is. All of Sable's images begin to change, including the one she holds of herself.
Wilf is convinced his parents want nothing to do with him. When he isn't in school, he is left to his own devices or shipped away to camp. But at fifteen, Wilf is adamant that he is too old for summer camp. When his parents ignore his protests and ship him off anyway, he knows how he will get their attention: He will escape from camp by canoe and spend the rest of his vacation alone in the woods, proving to his parents he deserves his independence. His plan begins to unravel when his cabin mate forces Wilf to take him along. Things go from bad to worse when a younger camper follows them and they all end up in a fight for their lives against the unforgiving river.
As much as life has irrevocably changed since the death of his father, much has stayed the same for Cam. He's always had a great deal of responsibility around the house, but the burden is heavier now in combination with the load of grief he's been carrying. After the man who was driving the truck that killed his father turns up at the end of the driveway, Cam feels pressure to keep his family safe as well. He starts to see the man everywhere: at his work, in stores, at his sister's school. Cam needs to know what the man wants from his family, and he starts following his father's killer in search of answers.
At the end of The Pirate Captain's Daughter, Catherine and cabin boy William are marooned on Pox Island by the murderous crew of the pirate ship Reprisal. The young lovers see no hope of escape. In Voyage of the Sea Wolf, the continuing saga of Catherine's sea adventures, she and William are rescured from their island prison by the Sea Wolf, a pirate ship pursuing the Reprisal. Catherine worries that these new pirates will send her back to the island once they discover she's a girl. But then, she meets the captain of the Sea Wolf. A Woman! Surely, Catherine thinks, the bloodshed and brutality she and William experienced aboard the Reprisal can't happen again, especially under the leadership of a female captian. But just as things seem to be going their way, the captain takes a liking to William. Catherine is forbidden to see him. If Catherine and William want to stay together, they must find a way to now escape from the Sea Wolf.
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.
Mark just can't settle into his new life. He misses his friends and has trouble connecting with new classmates. Walking through his neighborhood, he sees an open window. Instantly, everything changes. Maybe he can pretend to be someone else and live a different life ... if only for a moment.
Dan has worked hard for three years to earn the quarterback slot on the football team, but Clay, a new boy who has moved to the area, is better and threatens to take the slot from him. Coach asks Dan to help Clay learn plays. Dan faces the dilemma of doing what is best for him and doing what is best for the team.
Deb has reading problems and is self-conscious about it. She doesn't think smart boys will like her. But she's hardworking, helpful, and a girl of her word. Deb turns down a date to rake her sick neighbor's leaves. Ed, smart and handsome, comes by to give her a hand and- perhaps- ask her out.
Terrell decides to expose the secret ritual that injured a new football player, Dylan, in spite of threats from Booth.
Romeo and Juliet fall in love at first sight. Yet the bitter feud between their families forbids all contact. Can the power of their love stand up against such a longstanding history of hatred?
Oliver Twist is a penniless orphan. What chance has he got on the dangerous streets of 19th century London? Before long, he's taken in by a gang of thieves. The boy's future looks grim indeed, until a few kindly souls enter the picture.
Dale Curtis, the rookie on the Jackson Eagles basketball team, struggles between his commitment to the team and loyalty to his ex-con brother.
Raul and Juan set out for a few hours of kayaking. The weather is in their favor. It should be an easy ride. Raul, who is nicknamed the Cloud Warrior, prides himself on knowing good weather from bad. But once on the river, storm clouds appear. Their only choice is to keep moving and try to beat them. Soon they learn that a storm is the least of their worries. Some unexpected campers are in the area causing trouble not only for Raul and Juan, but for a girl Raul likes.
Kim and her best friend Fran are both interested in a new boy at school, but they don't realize that it's the same boy! Kim figures it out first, and has to decide if she is willing to risk her friendship with Fran.
Stella Connors has spent her whole life bouncing around from one town to the next, following the latest musician her mother has fallen in love with. She has always vowed she will never become a pathetic groupie like her mother, Viv. But then her best friend uploads a video of Stella singing a cover of her favorite band’s biggest hit. It goes viral, and suddenly Stella’s ideas about who she is and what she wants take a real hit. As a publicity stunt, the band’s manager asks Stella to perform with them when they come to town. Stella is thrilled and agrees immediately. Soon she finds herself in the spotlight, with everyone after her for interviews and photo ops. And unless she’s reading things wrong, she’s pretty sure the band’s lead singer has a thing for her. When she gets invited to go on the road with the band and perform in another concert, Stella forgets every bad thing she ever thought about being a groupie. After all, she’s nothing like her mother. She’s a star. Isn’t she?
Charlie's world comes crashing down when her fiancé leaves her for another woman. Then Aunt Della wins a trip for two to Rome. Maybe Italy can mend her broken heart? Or at least distract her from it—who needs romance when you have Rome, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast? But with adventure come mishaps, and Charlie's trip seems to be full of them! In between the chaos and hijinks, will Charlie take another chance at love?
Nick was used to being good at everything. Hockey, football, track, they all came easy to him. Surfing was his latest passion. That is, until the accident. Now partially paralyzed, Nick is angry, depressed and getting far too fond of his prescription meds. But his frequent visits to his physiotherapist, a Syrian refugee, and a budding friendship with a partial amputee who has also experienced firsthand the horrors of war help him start to piece his life back together. A story about overcoming the odds and changing your life for the better.
Victorian England is riding high. People are so prosperous and smug they imagine themselves the masters of the universe. Then the unthinkable happens: England is attacked by Martians! Panic erupts as the countryside goes up in flames. Is there no way to stop the ghastly, machinelike creatures and their deadly heat rays?
The rebels on campus oppose more rules and regulations, but the computer system at Mayfair College is under attack. Is the hacker a mischief-maker or a dangerous criminal? Luckily, Jim Salvatori's past makes him the perfect cybercop and especially qualified to answer that question.