Ava works hard at maintaining a certain image online and at school. As far as anyone else knows, life is great. But when she inherits an African gray parrot from her great-uncle Bernie (whom she barely remembers), Ava’s carefully crafted world starts to crumble. The parrot, Mervin, is loud and messy and obnoxious. Ava’s brother thinks it’s hilarious to post videos of Ava trying to deal with the crazy bird. He even creates a profile for the two of them. Everyone wants to see more of Ava and Mervin. Suddenly, Ava is internet famous—in the worst possible way. Her friends think the parrot is gross and start acting weird. But then a new girl at school helps Ava see that this parrot might not be the worst gift in the world and that just being yourself is the best way to be.
Mark is a city kid who has come to a small town to live with his grandmother after his mom goes into rehab. He has to take a school bus home for the first time. The long, noisy ride home is nothing like riding city transit. There’s some kind of secret code of knowing where you’re allowed to sit, the kids scream non-stop, and there’s pudding and cheese flying through the air. Someone even tries to set Mark’s seat on fire. Mark quickly decides that all these kids are nuts and does his best to avoid interacting with any of them. But when the bus is involved in a serious accident, Mark has to work with a couple of other students to get everybody to safety. He soon learns that he has more in common with these rural kids than he would ever have imagined. In turns funny and heartbreaking,
Moving to a new city and a new school is never easy. So Lauren is relieved when Callie, Treena and Maddy welcome her into their group. But then Lauren witnesses their reaction to a first grader in a wheelchair. That boy is her little brother, Will. But she’s afraid that if she tells them, they may not want to be friends with her. Soon Lauren finds herself living a double life as she struggles with the challenges of building new friendships and trying to make it up to Will for not acknowledging him at school. At some point Lauren will have to make a decision. What is more important? Friends or family?
Thirteen-year-old Chloë left her whole life back in Montreal, including her mom and her best friend. Now she's stuck in Victoria with her dad and her estranged grandfather, Uli, who recently had a stroke. When Chloë agrees to help Uli look after his garden, she's determined to find out why he and her dad didn't speak to each other for years. For decades Uli has collected seeds from people in the community, distinct varieties that have been handed down through generations. The result is a garden full of unusual and endangered produce, from pink broccoli to blue kale to purple potatoes. But Chloë learns that the garden will soon be destroyed to make way for a new apartment complex. And the seed collection is missing! Chloë must somehow find a way to save her grandfather's legacy.
Casey Finnegan is a talented skateboarder. He lives to skate. At the end of his final year of high school, Casey is wondering what to do with his life. He hasn't applied to any colleges, and other than skateboarding, he doesn't believe he's very good at much of anything. When a young movie star contacts Casey and offers him the job of stunt double in an upcoming skateboarding movie, Casey is stoked. It's his dream job, and Casey jumps at the opportunity to train the star. But when word gets out about Casey's new gig, a local skater has other ideas about who would make the best stunt double.
Sixteen-year-old Spencer loves his job at the local racing stable, but when he becomes convinced that someone is drugging the racehorse Lord of the Flies, no one believes him. In an effort to find out who is behind a dangerous race-fixing scheme, he takes on some of the most unsavory members of the track community. By refusing to turn a blind eye, Spencer risks losing those he cares most about, including Em, the stableowner's niece.
Jack Spencer has more to worry about than being kicked off his high school's basketball team. He uncovers suspicious circumstances surrounding the car crash that severely injured his mother and learns of his father's arrest for fraud. Jack's dad is tough on him, but he has learned to live with it. For the most part, he has it pretty good. Jack is a star player on his high school basketball team with everything going for him-scoring records, popularity and an easy path to a college scholarship. Almost as fast as the crash that put his mom in the hospital, everything Jack believes in starts to crumble. His only hope is to discover what's really going on, and quickly. If he doesn't, Jack may lose much more than a basketball career.
Byron is psyched when his older brother Jesse invites him on a weekend caving trip—even if it means spending time with Cole, Jesse's obnoxious college roommate. With Jesse's girlfriend Michelle rounding out the group, Byron is sure the excursion will be a success. Things get tense when they near the cave, only to find that the way in is blocked. Byron stumbles on the entrance to a new cave, but the thrill of his discovery is overshadowed by Cole's increasingly strange behavior. Exploring a wild cave is always dangerous, but it becomes deadly as tempers fray and the water level inside the cave starts to rise. When an underground confrontation leaves his brother seriously injured, Byron has to make some life-or-death decisions—and every second counts.
When ten-year-old Cyrus sees a For Sale sign plunged into his front lawn, it’s a complete and utter disaster. Usually, his younger brother, Rudy, is the scaredy-cat, but for the first time in his life, Cyrus is terrified. He’s lived at 637 Petunia Boulevard since he came to live with his adoptive mom and dad at two months old. Won’t he go hurtling into outer space without these four familiar walls to hold him in? Luckily, Cyrus has a few sneaky tricks up his sleeve to stop this moving business before it even gets started.
On her seventh birthday, Pauline rode across the lawns on her street followed by her best friend Henry, he on the blue wooden horse, she on the red. On the seventh lawn at the top of the street, she collapsed, becoming a sudden victim of the polio outbreak of the summer of 1954. Five years later, when In the Clear begins, she has survived, but paid a heavy price. A brace on her left leg allows her to walk, but she confines herself to her house, humiliated at the notion of being seen. Terrified by what Pauline has already suffered, her mother watches over her, forbidding her to play hockey on the ice rink her father has created in the backyard. In the Clear alternates, chapter by chapter, between Pauline's horror-filled year in the hospital five years earlier and her struggles to adapt in the present of 1959 and 1960. At the end of the book, her triumphs in past and present come together and she is able to move forward with new friendships, a renewed bond with her mother and, most important, a new faith in herself.
After losing yet another tae kwon do tournament, Jinho gives in to his anger and breaks his opponent's fingers. While this gets him barred from competing at his dojang, it also gets him scouted by Austin, a trainer for an underground mixed martial arts club. At first the prospect of fighting without boundaries appeals to Jinho, but the more involved he gets, the more disturbing he finds it and the harder it is to find a way out. Unlike legal MMA, which has rules and regulations, underground MMA is a free-for-all: there are no weight classes and no referees to stop the fight should it go too far. When Jinho is set up to fight a boy known as The Ripper, he realizes that he doesn't belong in this world, but the only thing that can save him is the ancient code of tae kwon do.
After a member of her competitive cheerleading team is injured in practice, sixteen-year-old Marnie is asked to be a flyer-the most coveted role in cheerleading. The Soar Starlings team has a real shot at the provincial championship, and Marnie has only a few weeks to prepare. But as she scrambles to polish her lifts and throws, Marnie's personal life begins to unravel. First, her boyfriend of two years breaks up with her, and then her best friend Arielle, captain of the Starlings, disappears during a team trip to Toronto. As Marnie struggles to adjust to being both a flyer and the team's new captain, she realizes that, to be a leader, you have to let go of old alliances to make room in your life for new ones.
Fifteen-year-old Kyle Evans has been a jock for years—a triple threat basketball player who can dribble, pass or shoot with considerable skill. But once he decides to try out for the school musical production at Sainsbury High, Kyle finds there is much more to life than hightops and hookshots. Conflicting priorities cause problems between Kyle and his coaches, teachers, teammates and friends. And when his buddy Lukas becomes the target of homophobic hatred, Kyle is left with some difficult choices to make.
When Josh Ellroy, left-winger for the Kamloops Blazers, and his dad find more than a dozen dead cattle on the family ranch, Josh has some serious decisions to make. On one hand, the Western Hockey League playoffs are ahead, plus a chance to play in the National Hockey League. On the other hand, there's a beautiful and interesting girl who believes more prize bulls will be killed. Josh is afraid of what will happen if he gets involved. As he learns more, he's afraid of what will happen if he doesn't.
DJ is David McLean's eldest grandson, so it stands to reason that he be the one to scatter his beloved grandfather's ashes. At least that's how DJ sees it. He's always been the best at everything—sports, school, looking after his fatherless family—so climbing Kilimanjaro is just another thing he'll accomplish almost effortlessly. Or so he thinks, until he arrives in Tanzania and everything starts to go wrong. He's detained at immigration, he gets robbed, his climbing group includes an old lady and he gets stuck with the first ever female porter. Forced to go polepole (slowly), DJ finds out the hard way that youth, fitness level and drive have nothing to do with success on the mountain—or in life. DJ's adventures start in Jungle Land, part of The Seven Prequels and continue in Sleeper, part of The Seven Sequels.
Lindy has been working hard cleaning and doing odd jobs around the neighborhood to earn money for a trip to the Arctic. When Mrs. Naulty, an elderly client, mistakenly pays her a huge amount of money, Lindy keeps it to pay the early-bird rate for her trip. It’s only when a schoolmate learns what she did and starts blackmailing her that Lindy starts to suffer for her actions.
Sam Campbell's school team, the Laggan Lairds, always loses. When someone suggests that their name be the Laggan Lard Butts, Sam thinks the team should change its name. What is a Laird anyway? The basketball coach agrees, and soon the whole school is involved in an election for a new team name. Sam and his friends nominate the name Lard Butts. When the basketball team starts winning games after a warm-up cheer of "Go Lard Butts!" it seems the Lard Butt campaign might actually win the election.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When first-year film student Spencer O'Toole is asked to make a music video for a band, he leaps at the chance. But Jerry, Spencer's dad, shows up, and somehow the band assumes he's in charge, despite the fact that he has zero background in film. And then there's Scratch, violent gang member turned sleazy music producer, who keeps making big promises but fails to deliver on a single one. Spencer has no idea how he's going to get this thing made. When the band invites him and his dad up to a cottage for the weekend, Spencer takes the opportunity to ditch Jerry. But one small fib snowballs into dozens of lies, and soon Spencer finds himself in way over his head.
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.
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.
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.