Peter Strand is half Chinese and half Cherokee and was adopted by an elderly white couple from Phoenix. Now he's a forensic accountant in San Francisco, where he's struggling with his identity. When his employer asks him to investigate a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization, Strand meets a cast of quirky characters who all seem to be hiding a secret. Peter soon finds evidence of a probable fraud, but when fraud leads to murder, he's drawn deeper into a murky mystery. The Black Tortoise is the second book in the Peter Strand Mystery series.
Leo sets out to teach his sister, Toby, that there are lessons to be learned by exploring the past. Little did they know that would stumble upon the answer to an old mystery.
Some playful fairies decide to make mischief with unsuspecting humans. Can true love overcome all obstacles? Two young Athenian couples are put to the test. Comedy reigns in this enchanting fantasy about the nature of romantic love.
"I always knew my father was a pirate and I always knew I wanted to be one, too." At age fifteen, Catherine's life is about to change. Her mother has just died and Catherine can't stand the thought of being sent to live with her aunt in Boston. She longs for a life of adventure. After she discovers her father's secret life as captain of the pirate ship Reprisal, her only thoughts are to join him on the high seas. Catherine imagines a life of sailing the blue waters of the Caribbean, the wind whipping at her back. She's heard tales of bloodshed and brutality but her father's ship would never be like that. Catherine convinces her father to let her join him, disguised as a boy. But once the Reprisal sets sail, she finds life aboard a pirate ship is not for the faint of heart. If her secret is uncovered, punishment will be swift and brutal.
It's bad enough being the new kid, but as a freshman, Jimmy finds school less enjoyable than many of his classmates. Standing 5'5" and weighing 187 pounds, he's subjected to a daily barrage of taunts and torments. His only sources of comfort are his family, his youth group, and his favorite foods. When his English teacher assigns a journal as a writing project, Jimmy chronicles not only his struggles but also his aspirations - to lose weight and win the girl of his dreams. Inspired by a true story and told in first-person journal entries, The Fat Boy Chronicles brings to life the pain and isolation felt by many overweight teenagers as they try to find their way in a world obsessed with outward beauty.
Zack Freedman has complete control and feels a sense of calm on the high wire. If only he could say the same about the rest of his life. His fellow youth circus performer and roommate, Cubby, hates him, and his aunt dumps a yappy, excitable dog on him. When a necklace is stolen during a circus performance and the victim of the theft threatens to shut down the circus, Zack is desperate to solve the mystery so he can keep his place on the wire.
While volunteering at the local zoo, Robyn, Nick and Trevor learn that grizzly bears are being poached and their gall bladders removed for use in alternative medicine. Always ready to solve a mystery, the kids set out to find the poachers. Bear is not only big game, they learn, but big money to poachers. The stakes are high and the suspects many, as the kids head into their most dangerous adventure yet.
Safira doesn't believe in ghosts, but the girl in her cabin at camp was not a living person, so what was she? Her friend Trinity is convinced Safira's seen a ghost and sets out to discover who the ghost girl is. Safira is too busy dealing with her family to help solve the mystery. Safira has never gotten along with her sister, Mya, and now that Mya's pending marriage dominates the family, there seems to be no hope for friendship between them. But when Trinity discovers the death of a girl named Myra, Safira starts to wonder if the ghost-girl has an important message about her own sister.
Dorf is all about skateboarding and so far that's worked out fine. But now that he's in a new city, the terrain has changed. He's no longer free to skateboard where he wishes, school is more difficult, and his passion for skateboarding garners him the nickname and reputation of a freak. With daring stunts he gains the grudging respect of local troublemakers, but he needs to tap into another kind of courage to effect real change.
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?
When Trevor, Nick and Robyn visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Robyn is inspired to raise funds for a dinosaur dig that will close soon if it doesn't find funding. The kids are caught up in another mystery when a chain of suspicious events, including the disappearance of important fossils and a fraudulent discovery at the dig, leads them to wonder what's going on. Is the new visiting scientist behind the fraud, or did Robyn's enthusiasm to save the dig lead her astray?
Trevor, Nick and Robyn are ready to solve another mystery. When bobsledder Josh Gantz is accused of deliberately injuring a fellow competitor, he runs the risk of being thrown out of the sport -- right before the World Cup. Courtney Gantz asks Trevor, Nick and Robyn to help clear her brother's name. Can they find out who framed Josh? What is the meaning of the strange coded messages they keep finding around Olympic Park? Who eats orange bananas, anyway? The kids must unearth the clues in a race against time, before Josh's championship dreams end up on ice.
Angus and his best buddy, Shahid, share a love of science and their robot, Gordon. But recently, the artistic Ella Eckles has had a peculiar effect on Angus. When a stink bomb at the school provides a chance for him to talk to her, he claims to share her interest in reading facial expressions and declares his ambition to become a crime-solving mentalist. He impresses Ella by identifying the stink bomber, but fails to mention he witnessed a scrawny kid setting off the bomb. When Ella's treasured sketchbook is stolen, she asks Angus to find the thief. Shahid thinks Angus should confess that he's not a mentalist, but Angus is certain he can learn to read people and recover Ella's sketchbook. He asks Shahid to help him investigate the suspects: Gaga Girl; the art teacher, Mr. Wilder; and finally, "scrawny kid." Equipped with rearview sunglasses and an informant who lurks in the washroom, the duo bungles their way through a series of encounters that alarm Shahid and provide Angus with some unfamiliar exercise.
Capital Central High School, or Cap Central as the students like to call it, is in the northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C. Any urban school faces broad challenges, and Cap Central is no different. But some tight-knit juniors meet the difficulties head-on with courage, friendship, determination, and hard work. Keshawn's life was about before and after. Before, Keshawn didn't have a computer. After, he helped his mom install software on their new computer. To monitor him. What a joke! It got him thinking. He could make money. So he offered his skills. Grades for cash. It was that simple. Only it wasn't. Then he realized Neecy was his way out. She needed good grades. But she wanted to earn them. Keshawn knew she would make it right. Fingers crossed.
Capital Central High School, or Cap Central as the students like to call it, is in the northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C. Any urban school faces broad challenges, and Cap Central is no different. But some tight-knit juniors meet the difficulties head-on with courage, friendship, determination, and hard work. Jair hated being short. Back in middle school, he'd figured he hadn't hit his growth spurt. But now he was a junior at Cap Central. To compensate, he'd made sure everyone knew how tough he was. And every so often, he'd add to his reputation by punching someone. It had been a while since he had to school someone. But he knew that the new kid would get what was coming to him...
Just like prose, a novel in verse tells a story. But verse is unique because readers access the text through short chapters, or poems. The varying lengths of the chapters are ideal for a struggling reader, giving them breaks to collect their thoughts, to imagine the characters in their mind's eye, and to set the scene - like a frame in a movie. Like watching a movie frame by frame, we watch Lexi is come unglued in this novel in verse. She's alienated from school and family. Her father is in the county jail. She cannot connect with her chain-smoking stepmom. Her brother, Blaine, is trapped in his own autistic world. And her infant sister's death has sent her into a spiral of grief and rebellion. Bright, witty, and irreverent, Lexi tries to navigate the rocky transition from adolescent to young woman. Winner of the 2014 Gold Moonbeam Award.
Capital Central High School, or Cap Central as the students like to call it, is in the northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C. Any urban school faces broad challenges, and Cap Central is no different. But some tight-knit juniors meet the difficulties head-on with courage, friendship, determination, and hard work. Rainie's grades were slipping. Good grades were a lifetime ago. Back when her dad was around. Before her moms boyfriend started hanging out at their house. Commenting on her figure. Looking her up and down. Before she decided to stop eating. Become invisible. Her friends were alarmed, especially Joss. She knew times were tough for Rainie's family. But she felt like there was more going on. Something serious. And she was going to figure it out. Reading Level: 3.5. Interest Level: Young Adult
Brandi is smart and outgoing, but sometimes insecure and gullible. Marisa is graceful and articulate, but often too driven. Shane is a natural leader with a lot of spirit, but rebellious and headstrong. The girls have been inseparable since middle school. But now they are playing in the big leagues, and it's time to grow up and start thinking about the future. And Port City, Texas, is not all that. High school drama has a way of solidifying or destroying friendships. Will they stay tight or get swallowed up by Port City High? Or will they go from freshman to senior year and beyond remaining the best of friends? Book 3 in the series.
All In: Gullible Victoria House worries about everything. She worries about being too fat and not being as bold as her half-sister Vanessa. Then some terrible rumors about her family cause her to rebel and take off. Only baller, Stone Bush, can draw her back and teach her how to stand up for herself. Stand Firm: Stone has vowed to never be like his using, abusing, rock star dad. But now that the coach is threatening to bench him, will he turn to performance enhancing drugs just to keep balling? What will Vanessa think about his use of steroids? Book 4 in the series
Scream Loud: Vanessa House has a lot on her mind. Shes not perfect like her shy half-sister Victoria. Plus living with her father and his new wife in a cushy lifestyle makes her feel guilty about the struggles her mom and siblings have to endure. Hooking up with a wild friend, she gets out of control. Quiet Strength: After GHH loses their star kicker to the rival high school, Emerson thinks that hes the best guy to take ER Stones place. But the coach wont give him any play time because the season has already started. Emerson has another reason for wanting to make the team. Her name is Vanessa House. Book 3 in the series
Ronette wants to fly solo for a while. But Cornell Londona senior is interested. Ronette's not sure shes ready for another relationship. Besides, Jayson still wants her back; for now he's firmly in the friend column. Chyna, her frenemy roommate, has stolen one of her poems and rapped it, which puts them on the verge of a hip-hop deal. No lie. Now the Houseman Gammas are knocking. Book 3 in the series
More than entertainment, these books can be a powerful coping tool when a struggling reader connects with the text. Paperback books look and feel like a trade edition and are complete in just under 200 pages. Naomi's cousin, Carlotta Valencia, is coming to live with the Martinez family. And she is a handful--a spoiled brat with a chip on her shoulder. She is a flirt. She is brazen. She is promiscuous. But under the eye of the Martinez parents, she now has to do chores and homework. Shes jealous of Naomi. And she has her eye on Ernesto. Then Clay. But Ernesto loves Naomi. And Clay loves Mira at least he finds out he truly loves his girlfriend when he takes Carlotta out; he wants an easy score. But he is spotted by Mira's friends and quickly tells Carlotta to get lost. He realizes he has too much to lose. After getting shot down again and again... embarrassed...deflated...Carlotta cleans up her act. She does her schoolwork. And she starts mentoring a freshman girl who she connects with. Carlotta learns that she has a lot going for her and a lot to offer...thanks to Naomi and Ernesto.
More than entertainment, these books can be a powerful coping tool when a struggling reader connects with the text. Paperback books look and feel like a trade edition and are complete in just under 200 pages. Mona Lisa is average. Not pretty. Not ugly. Shes very insecure and lacks self confidence. Mona's mom harps on her to start dating. Then Julio begins to show an interest in her. Hes on the track team and a close friend of Ernestos. When Mona returns Julios interest, though, her mom is upset because Julio is not from a good family. Hes poor. His father is practically a bum. They live in a mobile home, and not the plush kind. Not the type of people Mrs. Corsella approves of. And she hatches a plan to get her daughter to date someone more socially acceptable. Mona becomes defiant, running away from home. Her mom is convinced shes been kidnapped by Julio. But Julio turns out to be the hero when Mona calls him to rescue her in Phoenix after she is approached by a smarmy guy and loses all of her cash.
Gravel Road, award-winning realistic teen fiction, highlights the talents of our urban street lit authors. Each book is approximately 200 pages, and is written at a 3.0 reading level. Nasreen and Mia are two very different girls. But they stand out at Arondale High. And kids make assumptions about the only Muslim and the new black girl--the only African American--in school. "Who let you into the suburbs?" Samantha asks. Everyone gawks. Nasreen has kept her head down for years. Eighteen months and shes out, she tells herself. Off to college. Mia is bold. Yeah, she wishes she were somewhere else, but shes not going to take the bullying lying down. She has to live her life. Graduate. Get into a good school. The school administrators are ignorant. And worse. The bullying escalates. Both at school and online. The girls come up with a plan to fight back. To regain some dignity. To turn the tables on the bullies.
More than entertainment, these books can be a powerful coping tool when a struggling reader connects with the text. Paperback books look and feel like a trade edition and are complete in just under 200 pages. Ernesto and Naomi are mentoring two at-risk freshmen who've had it rough. Naomi's father isn't happy that shes hanging around at-risk kids, but Ernesto convinces him that the kids are fine. Meanwhile, Clay is up to his cruel tricks. Mira has taken him back, and his parents have rewarded his bad behavior with a new car. Its too hard to resist temptation; someone has let the air out of the new cars tires. Meanwhile, Mira's ex- and rebound, Kenny, is floored when Mira dumps him and takes Clay back. Kenny gets another kid to call Clay and accuse Mira of cheating. Clay is livid but doesn't lose his temper like hes done in the past. Is volatile Clay turning over a new leaf? Mira begs Ernesto to find out who made the call.