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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.

Three on Three

Eric Walters (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551434339

Nick and Kia get excited when their school gym teacher announces a "three-on-three" basketball tournament. The two most dedicated players in grade three, they know they'll be tough to beat. But when Nick finds out they'll be up against teams in grade four and five, he is ready to throw in the towel before they start. How can shrimps like them ever hope to beat the older kids? Kia, however, is undaunted. They need a third player for their team anyway, she reasons, so why not go after the best player in the school? Marcus is bigger, tougher and in grade five. But it's not as easy as Kia thinks to convince Marcus to join their team. And there's no guarantee the older boy won't change his mind before the tournament begins. Marcus is often uneasy around them, but worse, Kia and Nick find themselves making enemies of some of the kids in the upper grade. Nick realizes it's going to take more than skill at basketball to win this tournament and make friends with Marcus without becoming targets for the older kids off the court. Book 1 in the series.

A Different Game

Sylvia Olsen (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554691708

Murphy and his three friends, Danny, Jeff and Albert, are making the transition from the tribal elementary school to the community middle school. They are all trying out for the middle school's soccer team, and they're pretty confident that The Formidable Four will all make the team. But once the tryouts begin, Albert, the tribal-school superstar, plays like a second stringer. Murphy's new friend, Molly, is determined to help the boys find out what's wrong with Albert, but when they discover the truth, they realize that Albert is playing a whole different game.

A Dark Truth

Jeff Ross (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459813281

Riley and Dashawn have been friends since they were three. They got into skateboarding together and have advanced to the point where it's time to create a Sponsor Me tape. They bring a third skater along, Natasha, and try to get some good clips around a new office development. Then the police storm into the lot. The three skaters quickly scatter, trying their best not to get busted. Riley and Natasha arrive at the meet-up spot. They wait and wait, but Dashawn never shows. The next day Riley visits Dashawn, only to discover that the police have given him a beat-down. Nothing like this has ever happened before, and for Riley it is a wake-up call that whether they know it or not, not everyone lives in the same world he does.

Drawn Away

Holly Bennett (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459812536

One minute Jack's in math class. The next, he's on a dark, cobblestoned, empty street. Empty, that is, except for a skinny girl wrapped in a threadbare shawl. "Matches, mister?" she asks, and just like that, Jack's life collides with one of Hans Christian Andersen's grimmest tales. And just when he has almost convinced himself it was just a weird dream, it happens again. Suddenly, Jack's ideas about what is "real" or "possible" no longer apply. While he and his new girlfriend, Lucy, struggle to understand who or what the Match Girl is, they come to realize they must also find a way to keep Jack away from her. The Match Girl is not just a sad, lonely soul; she's dangerous. And each time Jack is drawn into her gray, solitary world, she becomes stronger, more alive...and more attached to Jack. She wants to keep Jack for her very own, even if that means he will die.

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.

Pop Quiz

Tom Ryan (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459812239

Fifteen-year-old Aiden is a minor cast member on a long-running high school "dramedy" with a low budget and a loyal following. Aiden and his friends are excited that they're being promoted to lead roles for the upcoming tenth season of Pop Quiz. But then they learn the show is being canceled. According to the producers, no one even watches TV anymore, with kids preferring the antics of YouTube stars. With the help of some former cast members and a group of hardcore fans, Aiden and his friends attempt to create a movie special to wrap up the storylines and give the series the send-off it deserves.

Getting the Brush Off

Mere Joyce (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459813595

Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Sydney Hart was kicked out of the prestigious Burke Academy when her mother could no longer afford the tuition. She lost a promising future in the arts, as well as her best friend, who didn't want to be seen with an art-academy reject. But now, without Burke's rigid structure, Sydney has found her true passion in performance painting and is busking on Halifax's boardwalk to earn enough money to go to art camp. After the police shut her down, Sydney learns her old school is hosting a "brush-off" speed-painting contest with a cash prize. Entering would mean facing her painful past, not to mention her former friend, who's also competing.

Plunge

Eric Howling (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814202

Cade's dad thinks triathlons are for wimps. He doesn't think it's a real sport and wishes Cade would play football instead, like his older brother, Trent. So Cade trains in secret and qualifies to compete in the provincial championship in Sylvan Lake. The night before the event, Cade's coach suddenly can't go, and Cade is forced to ask his dad for a ride there. He only agrees because Trent has a football game nearby. The road trip takes a nasty turn when his dad swerves to avoid a deer and their car hurtles into an ice-cold river. It's up to Cade to use his skills to save his entire family.

Up North

Jeff Ross (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814578

Rob Maclean and his mom have moved to a small community in northern Ontario in order to be closer to Rob's imprisoned brother, Adam. One night after a rowdy party, Rob and some friends end up in a van speeding through a First Nations reserve. The driver of the van has a deep hatred for Indigenous people, and he lobs rotten fruit at a group of young men gathered in front of a community center. The young men chase them down, and Rob's friend Alan is injured and ends up in a coma. Now the police are pressuring Rob to identify their prime suspect. This is the second story featuring Rob and Adam Maclean after Coming Clean.

Miriam's Secret

Debby Waldman (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814264

In 1930 nine-year-old Miriam travels by train from Brooklyn to her grandparents' farm in upstate New York. Her grandparents are kind, generous people, but they aren't exactly ideal playmates for a lonely girl. When Miriam is not doing homework in the kitchen with Bubby or helping prepare meals for the migrant workers that Zayde hires to help out on the farm, she plays with the barn kittens born just before she arrived. Those kittens are her only friends, until the day Miriam discovers a young girl hiding in the barn. Cissy and her brother, Joe, who's one of Zayde's farm hands, are on the run from an abusive uncle back in Mississippi. Miriam and Cissy hit it off immediately. But their friendship is tested when Miriam is forced to choose between keeping a promise and doing the right thing.

Pigboy

Vicki Grant (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551436661

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?

Tank & Fizz: The Case of the Slime Stampede

Liam O'Donnell (author), Mike Deas (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459808119

When Gravelmuck Elementary's cleaning slimes escape and destroy the schoolyard with their acidic ooze, all claws and tails point to Mr. Snag, the school's caretaker, as the culprit. Determined to clear Mr. Snag's name, Tank and Fizz dive into the case, only to discover that the goop under Rockfall Mountain runs deep. The detective duo must outwit their eight-legged principal and survive an ancient war between high-tech janitors and spell-slinging wizards. Can Tank and Fizz find the real monsters behind the slime stampede in time to clear Mr. Snag's name?

On the Trail of the Bushman

Anita Daher (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554690145

Junior Canadian Ranger Tommy Toner has a terrible secret. During the annual JCR summer camp in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, he plays a prank which has unexpected and destructive results. Ashamed and afraid of what people will think, he keeps quiet, even though the guilt eats away at him. Tommy and his old friends Colly and Jaz team up to take part in a JCR competition at camp. They decide to search on horseback for the legendary Bushman, a Sasquatch-like creature who has been sighted near Whitehorse. But is the Bushman real or is he simply a terrifying creature of myth and legend? What Tommy and his friends discover puts all their lives in danger, and only the truth can save them.

Poser

Alison Hughes (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459801486

Twelve-year-old Luke "Spin" Spinelli is sick of fake running, fake laughing and fake pointing. Sure, he once made the cover of Baby Show magazine, but now his secret modeling career is making him miserable. He dreams of using nonwhitening toothpaste. He can't wait to stop styling his hair. And he really wants to stop worrying that the school bully will discover he was once the face of Dribbleez Diapers. After all, Spin's just a normal boy looking for a hockey game and some pizza with extra cheese.

Maxed Out

Daphne Greer (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554699834

More than anything, twelve-year-old Max wants to play hockey like he used to. But since the death of his dad, his mom does more crying than mothering, and Max has to take his special-needs brother, Duncan, with him everywhere he goes. The team needs Max to win the upcoming game against the Red Eagles, but one practice with Duncan makes it evident that it's not safe to leave him unattended on the sidelines. With only a week to figure out how he can play in the big game, Max is feeling the pressure. Will he find a way to be a good teammate, a good brother and a good son, or is it too much for one kid?

Justine McKeen, Eat Your Beets

Sigmund Brouwer (author), Dave Whamond (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554699346

Meet Justine McKeen, the Queen of Green. She talks a little too much, bosses a little too much and tells the truth, just not all at once. She's trying to save the planet, one person at a time, and when she decides to get something done, it's a lot of fun. In the fourth book of the Justine McKeen series, Justine finds a stray cat and her kittens living off food in the school Dumpster. Eager to reduce waste and save animals in need, Justine comes up with a plan. Can she convince grumpy Mr. Raymond, the cafeteria manager, to put her plan into action?

Queen of the Toilet Bowl

Frieda Wishinsky (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 1551433648

When Renata is chosen to play the lead role in the school musical, students who used to ignore her start saying hello and congratulating her in the hall. She is happy until it becomes evident that Karin, a wealthy girl who expected to get the lead role, will go to great lengths to ruin Renata's reputation.

Blood and Belonging: A Ray Robertson Mystery

Vicki Delany (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459812857

RCMP Sergeant Ray Robertson is in the Turks and Caicos Islands, enjoying two weeks of leave from his job training police in Haiti with the UN. On an early-morning jog along famed Grace Bay Beach he discovers a dead man in the surf. Ray is shocked to recognize the body as that of one of his Haitian police recruits. To his wife's increasing dismay, Ray is compelled to follow the dead man's trail and finds himself plunged into the world of human trafficking and the problems of a tiny country struggling to cope with a desperate wave washing up on its shores. This timely story is the third in the Sergeant Ray Robertson series.

Weerdest Day Ever!

Richard Scrimger (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459811560

Bunny is on a camping trip with his brother and his grandpa. How much trouble can he get into? As it turns out, a lot. For one thing, there are soldiers all over the place. Canada is about to go to war with the United States, and the battle starts tomorrow. Bunny is worried. A hockey rivalry is one thing, but this is serious. And why is everybody so happy? Things get personal when an American soldier steals his brother Spencer's cell phone. Bunny decides to track down the phone himself. Maybe they can get out of there before the war starts. That’s when things get confusing... In this zany prequel to Ink Me and The Wolf and Me, the hockey-loving, indomitable Bunny goes camping with his brother and his grandpa.

Batcat and the Seven Squirrels

Eric Walters (author), Kasia Charko (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459812567

Nathan has always loved animals and longs for a pet. When a baby squirrel shows up at Nathan's door, he wonders what could have happened to its mother. It isn't long before his family discovers six more orphaned baby squirrels in need of food and shelter. With help from Batcat, a neighborhood cat who is fed by many but owned by no one, Nathan learns to care for the squirrels. But all babies must leave the nest eventually. Will Nathan finally find a pet to call his own?

Justine McKeen, Thermostat Chat

Sigmund Brouwer (author), Dave Whamond (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459812024

Justine McKeen is on another mission, this time to rid homes and schools of energy vampires. Justine and her friends, with the help of Principal Proctor, are working to reduce the energy consumption of electronics that suck power from the school when they aren't being used. By cutting down on the miscellaneous electrical load of these electronics, the team is also saving money, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting global warming. Too bad they didn't warn Grandpa Blatzo before they started slaying the vampires! Justine McKeen, Thermostat Chat is part of the Justine McKeen series featuring the Queen of Green.

Another Miserable Love Song

Brooke Carter (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459813137

Kallie Echo is starting to think dreams are dangerous. Her dad had one to be a rock star and then he died. Now Kallie is practically homeless and her life is falling apart. So when a punk band asks Kallie to sing for them, she must decide if she's got the heart to front a band of rocker chicks (and one trans guy). Can she find a new purpose in punk? And will the drummer with the amazing smile break her heart?The band goes on tour, and everything hinges on Kallie. It's a lot of pressure especially when you throw in substance abuse and Kallie's deadbeat mom showing up at the worst time. Kallie must learn to trust her friends, and herself, if she's going to get over the past and make a new future. But if she dares to dream again, will she lose it all?