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The Mealworm Diaries

Anna Kerz (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551439846

Mealworms are small creatures that live in dark secret places. Jeremy is a bit like that when he leaves his home in rural Nova Scotia and moves to Toronto with his mother. Lots of things keep him from enjoying his new life, but the worst is his science partner, Aaron, who is more annoying than sand in a bathing suit. Jeremy is also burdened by the secret he carries about the motorcycle accident that injured him and killed his father. Although Jeremy is haunted by his past, he starts to feel at home in Toronto when he realizes he has some skills he can share with his classmates. And when his mealworm project yields some surprising results, Jeremy is finally able to talk about his part in the fatal accident.

The Puppet Wrangler

Vicki Grant (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438207

Telly Mercer is shy and quiet, used to living in the shadow of her older sister, Bess. Then she finds herself on the set of a puppet show, staying out of the way of her over-stressed Aunt Kathleen. One evening she makes a surprising discovery that launches her on an adventure with an unpredictable and angry puppet.

High and Inside

Jeff Rud (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551437965

Fresh from a thrilling basketball season playing for the varsity team, Matt is looking forward to a new challenge: baseball. The South Side team seems to be strong this yearif only Matt can control his fear of being hit by an errant pitch. But when Matt's friend, Jake, the team's star, falls in with the wrong crowd, the entire seasonnot to mention their long-standing friendshipseems to be on the line.

Klutzhood

Chris McMahen (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551437125

Arlo thinks his mother is crazy for taking a job in a small town, far away from his old home and his good friends. And to make matters worse, the students at his new school are crazyhockey crazy. Arlo has never laced up a pair of skates in his life, and he's not about to start. To avoid making a complete fool of himself in front of his classmates, Arlo joins a group of misfits called the Dumpster Dudes, who set him a series of wild initiation tests that unleash mayhem on the school. Broken windows in the classrooms, angry ants in the hallways, bicycles in the library and monsters in the air ductscan East Bend Elementary survive Arlo? And will Arlo survive East Bend?

Leaving Fletchville

René Schmidt (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551439471

Brandon is the biggest and toughest kid in his small-town school. He is feared as a bully, but he only pretends to be "dumb as a bag of hammers," so he can learn as much as possible about the people around him. When Leon, his sister Winnie, and their lively little brother Sam, arrive in Kingsville, they are the only black people in town. Everyone is curious about themwhere they came from, what their parents dobut when Brandon discovers the truth about their situation, he decides to do what he can to protect them from harm.

Liars and Fools

Robin Stevenson (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554692491

Fiona's life changed forever when her mother died in a South Pacific sailing accident. One year later, everyone tells her it is time to move on. To Fiona, moving on means leaving her mother behind-something she has vowed never to do. But Fiona's father has started dating again. His new girlfriend, Kathy, is a professional psychic who claims she can predict the future and communicate with the dead. Fiona is sure she is a fraud, although she secretly longs for her abilities to be genuine. With the reluctant support of her best friend Abby, Fiona sets out to put an end to her father's new relationship by trying to prove, with decidedly mixed results, that Kathy is a liar.

My Name Is Mitch

Shelagh Lynne Supeene (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438146

Mitch MacLeod may be the smallest kid in grade six, but he has a great sense of humor and a strong backbone. He can read, sometimes, but never at school when he has to. "You don't know what humiliation is until you have a grade one reading buddy who reads better than you do," he says. But things start to change for Mitch when he creates an opportunity to stand up to Philip, his arch-enemy, when his reading begins to improve, and when his dad, "The Creep," moves back to town.

Underdog

Eric Walters (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551434179

It's a new season for Nick and Kia and once again they have to prove they've got what it takes to make the Mississauga Magic rep team. There is no free ride on Coach Barkley's team. The tryouts are tough but fair and it looks like the nucleus of last years team will be together once again. But there is one new player who seems to have the skills to impress the coach. Though Ashton has great skills, he's not much of a team player. On top of that he's not even sure he wants to make the team. Unable to imagine that anyone wouldn't want to play for the Magic, Nick and Kia set out to solve this dilemma and learn some tough lessons along the way. Book 7 in the series.

Better Than Weird

Anna Kerz (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554693634

In this stand-alone sequel to The Mealworm Diaries, Aaron is anxiously waiting for his father to return for the first time since Aaron's mother's death eight years earlier. Aaron works hard with a counselor at school, but he still has problems getting along with and understanding other kids, and he's worried that his dad will think he's weird. As well as having to confront Tufan, the class bully, Aaron must find ways to cope with the fact that his dad now has a pregnant wife and his beloved Gran needs surgery. In the end, his greatest strength is not his intelligence or his sense of humor, but the openness and warmth of his heart.

Box of Shocks

Chris McMahen (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554699186

Oliver has helicopter parentsthey love him, but they seriously cramp his style. He decides to fill an old wooden box with souvenirs from some of his outrageous and daring exploits. That way, he'll never forget the zombies, the killer dogs and the crazy cows, and his parents will never know that he once jumped from a bridge with the police in hot pursuit. But the biggest shock comes when Oliver realizes that the most terrifying things of all can't be controlled or contained.

Count Me In

Sara Leach (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554694051

Twelve-year-old Tabitha is less than thrilled when her parents send her on a hiking trip with her cousins, Ashley and Cedar, and her Aunt Tess. For one thing, she's not much of a hiker. And she's pretty sure her cousins hate her. But even Ashley can't blame Tabitha for everything that goes wrong: the weather turns ugly, a bear comes into the cabin, Ashley and Tess are injured and Max, the family's beloved dog, disappears. When rescue finally arrives, Tabitha realizes that she is no longer the timid, out-of-shape girl she used to be. She's become strong, resourceful and brave in the face of adversity-no matter what form it takes.

Ten Thumb Sam

Rachel Dunstan Muller (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551437019

Sam Stringbini, the youngest son in a family of circus performers, is living every kid's dream, except for the fact that he is no good on the high wire, trapezes freak him out and magic mystifies him. When the Triple Top Circus is threatened by repeated acts of sabotage, Sam is the number one suspect. To clear his name, Sam enlists the help of his cousin, Harriet, and discovers that, while he may never be a sword-swallower or a lion-tamer, he just might be able to save the circus.

The Ballad of Knuckles McGraw

Lois Peterson (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554692040

After eight-year-old Kevin Mason's mother abandons him, he takes refuge in his fantasy of becoming Knuckles McGraw, a tough cowboy roaming the plains on his legendary horse, Burlington Northern. But instead of riding the range, Kevin is stuck in a foster home with a pierced and tattooed teenager named Ice and a mute girl named Breezy. While he waits to be claimed by the father he barely remembers or the mother who left him a good-bye note in his lunchbox, Kevin (aka Knuckles McGraw) tries to communicate with Breezy, learns to get along with his bunkhouse-mate Ice, and discovers that memories can be as deceptive as family secrets.

The Big Snapper

Katherine Holubitsky (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438252

Ten-year-old Eddie lives with his mom and grandparents in a small cabin on the Queen Charlotte Islands. A year earlier, Eddie's dad took the ferry to the mainland and never returned. Eddie loves going fishing with Granddad and listening to his tall tales about the big snapper. Eddie believes if they catch such a fish, it might change his family's fortune. Mom decides to turn their cabin into a bed and breakfast. Some of the guests appreciate island life, but many do not. When Granddad falls ill and must go away for treatment, Eddie worries that he too may not come back. Already hurt and confused by his father's disappearance, upset by the attitudes of the tourists, and now missing his beloved grandfather, Eddie goes fishing alone in Granddad's skiff. Soon he is struggling with more than the need to stay afloat.

The Last Loon

Rebecca Upjohn (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554692934

Spending Christmas holidays in the wilderness with his ex-con aunt Mag is not Evan's idea of a good time. What's worse is that everyone he meets-even his new friend Cedar-is making a big deal about a loon that is hanging around on the lake. Why should Evan care about a dumb bird? When he discovers that the loon will die without help, he realizes he does care, but rescuing the wild bird turns out to be whole lot harder, and more dangerous, than he expected.

The Reunion

Jacqueline Pearce (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551434018

Shannon is excited about spending a week at her friend Rina's house, but she's a little nervous too. Rina seems to be able to do everything better than she can and her home is chaotic compared to Shannon's own. When things fall apart, Rina's grandmother is there to tell them a story from her past, early in the Second World War. The story is about a rift between her and her childhood friend, Mitsu, a rift that could never be healed because Mitsu and her family were taken away from the small town of Paldi and interned with other Japanese Canadians. Rina's grandmother, Jas, never saw Mitsu again. That is, not until Shannon and Rina find a handful of forgotten beads in the bottom of a cardboard box.

Things Are Looking Grimm, Jill

Dan Bar-el (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438382

Princess Jill excels at jousting, fencing, skating and long-distance spitting. Her brother, King Jack, loves baking and spending time with Little Bo Peep and her sheep. So what's a princess to do when she receives a mysterious letter from the land of Grimm? Take up ballroom dancing? Not Princess Jill. All alone, with only her wits to guide her, Jill sets off to rescue the citizens of Grimm. Along the way she makes many odd new friends and discovers the value of listening to your mother.

TJ and the Rockets

Hazel Hutchins (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551434155

TJ overcame his fear of cats in TJ and the Cats and his fear of ghosts in TJ and the Haunted House. Now, he's not so keen on facing his fear of failure. His best friend Seymour is determined to come up with the latest greatest invention and TJ's gran expects TJ to build a rocket. The kittens, T-Rex and Alaska, are eager to get involved. When the first rocket that TJ builds plummets out of the sky, no parachute in sight, TJ is sure that his efforts are doomed. But are they?

Triple Threat

Jerome Williams Eric Walters (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438405

It's summertime and hoops season is over, but that doesn't keep Nick and Kia off the court. One very hot day they head to the rec center for a swim but end up on the outdoor courts that are usually dominated by older players. Their enjoyment of the court is short-lived, however, when three teens show up and kick the kids and their ball off the court. Nick and Kia don't take well to being bullied, but there's nothing they can do about it. At least not until they run into Jerome "Junk Yard Dog" Williams at a mall promotional event, and Kia enlists the NBA star's help in proving that she and Nick do indeed belong on the same court as the older players. Eric Walters has teamed up with NBA fan-favorite and former Toronto Raptor and current New York Knick Jerome "Junk Yard Dog" Williams for the eighth installment of this best-selling basketball series. Jerome's royalties will help support the JYD Project, which is run by his brother, Johnnie Williams. The JYD Project's goal is to reach more than half a million Canadian and American students over a five-year period with their inspirational message. Book 8 in the series.

Trouble in the Trees

Yolanda Ridge (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554693863

Eleven-year-old Bree is happiest when she's climbing the trees at Cedar Grove, her urban townhouse complex. She's the best climber around, even better than an older boy, Tyler, who drives her crazy with his competitiveness. When Ethan, a younger boy, falls from a tree and hurts his elbow, the neighborhood council bans all tree-climbing in Cedar Grove. If Bree chooses to ignore the bylaw, her family could be kicked out of their home, so she vows to change the rule instead. After giving a presentation to the Neighborhood Council, she realizes this is not a battle she can win on her own, but rallying the Cedar Grove troops is more difficult than she imagined.

Racing for Diamonds

Anita Daher (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551436777

Jaz lives in the small northern community of Destiny and is a new member of the Junior Canadian Rangers. Her divorced parents argue a lot, and Jaz hopes if she wins a dog-mushing derby, they will be so proud of her they will stop arguing. But the derby would be a lot more fun if she wasn't paired with Colly, an older boy who is a more experienced JCR. On the derby trail all Jaz's newfound skills, her will to survive and her ability to get along with Colly, are put to a life-and-death test.

Road Trip

Eric Walters (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551433875

Nick, Kia and their Mississauga Magic teammates are on the road, heading off to an elite hoop tournament in the Midwest. Feeling outmatched by many of the high profile teams, the kids are still looking forward to a good time. However, Coach Barkley, who played college ball in the area and is still regarded as a hero, has other ideas. As usual, nothing but winning will be good enough for Coach. As the tournament progresses, the Magic players learn to believe in themselves and come to realize that they can hold their own against the opposing teams. And then, just as the team seems to have a shot at making the finals, the eligibility of one of their players is questioned and they face disqualification. Will the team spirit the road trip has instilled be strong enough to get the kids over this hurdle? Book 5 in the series.

Runaway

Becky Citra (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551434421

Max is horrified when he sees Sam Black, a new neighbor, strike a boy who is in his charge, but Max still shouts, "Thief," and tries to catch the boy when he sees him steal from the General Store in The Landings. When the abused boy runs away and takes refuge in Max's secret fort in the woods, Max must decide where his loyalties lie. In the fourth volume of her historical series set in Upper Canada in the 1830s, Becky Citra tackles the serious subject of abuse while staying true to her characters and telling a gripping story.

Somebody's Girl

Maggie De Vries (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554693849

Martha knows she is adopted, but she's well-loved and popular, at least until her mother gets pregnant and she feels her parents' attention start to shift. Upset and confused, Martha lashes out at and loses her friends. She also makes no secret about her annoyance at being forced to do a school project about sturgeon with Chance, a difficult boy whose foster parents are family friends. To add insult to injury, Martha's birth mother announces that she is getting married and moving away. Now Martha isn't number one in anybody's life. When her mom goes into labor prematurely, Martha realizes that she needs to figure out a way to be a better friend and daughter, and a great sister.

Hoop Crazy

Eric Walters (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551433837

When Nick and his pals suddenly find themselves short a man for the NBA-sponsored three-on-three tournament they plan to enter during the summer holidays, the solution seems simple enough. Nick, Kia and Mark are the key players on the team, so the fourth, though mandatory according to the rules, doesn't really have to be good at the game. A surprise visit from Nick's mother's cousin brings Ned, who is exactly Nick's age but not exactly an athlete, into the picture and onto the team. Nick and Ned, though related, are about as different as two boys born on the same day can be. And they don't get along. Nick cares mostly about sports and basketball is his passion. Ned is crazy about bugs and lives out West in a national park, three hours' drive from the nearest basketball court. The other three teammates figure that as long as they don't actually have to use Ned in a game they will be fine. Then Mark sprains his ankle and can't play in the tournament. Suddenly Nick and Kia must find a way to make Ned an integral part of the team. This turns out to be no small task!