Thirteen-year-old Robbie leads a double life. It's just Robbie and his dad, but no one knows that his dad isn't like most parents. Sometimes he wakes Robbie up in the middle of the night to talk about dying. Sometimes he just leaves without telling Robbie where he’s going. Once when Robbie was younger, he was gone for more than a week. Robbie was terrified of being left alone but even more scared of telling anyone in case he was put into foster care. No one can know. Until one day when Robbie has to show the tough new girl, Harmony, around school. Their first meeting ends horribly and she punches Robbie in the face. But eventually they come to realize that they have a lot more in common than they thought. Can Robbie's new friend be trusted to keep his secret?
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.
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.
Resourceful fourteen-year-old Odette is on the move again, traveling as a stowaway on a cheese cart with her hapless mother, Anneline. They are in Burgundy, France, in 1799, fleeing yet another calamity caused by Anneline (who is prone to killing people accidentally). At dawn they find themselves in a town called Nevers, which is filled with eccentric characters, including a man who obsessively smells hands, another who dreams of becoming a chicken and a donkey that keeps the town awake at night, braying about his narrow life. As Odette establishes a home in an abandoned guardhouse, she makes a friend in the relaxed Nicois and finds work as a midwife's assistant. She and Nicois uncover a mystery that may lead to riches and, more important for Odette, a sense of belonging.
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.
Hockey stars Mike "Crazy" Keats and his new friend, Dakota, are caught in a web of violence which makes winning a championship the least of their concerns. Dakota Smith is in trouble. But Mike "Crazy" Keats doesn't care. He is new to the Seattle Thunderbirds, and Dakota seems like a good guy to have for a friend. Unfortunately, not everyone accepts Dakota's Native North American heritage so easily.
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.
Reese loves horses and longs to be a competitive show jumper. When the leased horse she rides is sold, she is left riding the orneriest horse in the stable. She decides she must find a horse of her own. Her parents can't afford a trained horse, so she decides to buy a wild horse at auction. Outbid, she discovers that many of the wild horses will be sold for slaughter. Determined to save the horses from a terrible fate, she finds herself in deeper than she expected—and fighting for her life.
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 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.
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.
Del plays striker on his high school soccer team, the Cardinals, and they’ve gone almost three seasons undefeated. To Del, it’s just a game, but some of the players think winning is all that matters. When an ugly tackle results in a major loss for the Cardinals against their main rival, the Rebels, things get heated between the teams. That night, one of Del’s teammates has his ankle broken by an unknown assailant, leaving him unable to take part in the playoffs. As Del tries to figure out which of the Rebels’ players is responsible for the attack, his coach brings in a substitute player, and he’s actually really good. Is it just a coincidence, or did someone finally take the above all else mentality too far?
Seventeen-year-old Mark "Shark" Hewitt is good at playing pool. Really good. When he, his mom and sister move to a new town, Mark immediately seeks out the local pool hall. He loves to play, but even more than that, he just loves hanging out with the regulars. It reminds him of good times with his dad, who is no longer in the picture. When one of the patrons notices Mark's natural gift for the game, he forces Mark to use his talent for profit. Now Mark has to find a way to get out from under this sleazeball's thumb and protect his family.
Fourteen-year-old Ava is thrilled when she lands a part in a play based on the true story of orphans sent to Canada in the 1800s to work on farms. But is she good enough to hold her own in a professional production? As the rehearsal pressures crank up, Ava struggles with her character, with the vocal demands of outdoor theater and with the annoying ego of her castmate Kiefer. But as she learns more about the historical Lily on which her part is based, things begin to fall into place. Then one bad decision jeopardizes Ava's chances of being able to perform on opening night.
Fifteen-year-old Natalie is obsessed with ballet and plans to spend the entire summer in dance class with her two best friends. But when her mom gets a job out of town, Natalie gets shipped off to stay with cousins she barely knows. Natalie is thrilled when her cousins invite her to join them at the local dance studio. But it turns out it's not a ballet class; it's Irish dance. Skeptical at first, Natalie is surprised to learn she really enjoys the new dance style and agrees to take part in an upcoming competition. But this new passion could result in Natalie having to leave her ballet dreams behind.
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.
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.
Brielle and Tawni have played cello side by side in orchestras since they were nine years old. Brielle has always played second chair to Tawni's first, and she's been happy with that arrangement. When Tawni is injured, Brielle suddenly finds herself principal cellist. Not only does that mean she'll be thrust into the spotlight, but it also means she is now leader of the cello section. Brielle is terrified. Is she good enough? Will the other musicians accept her? What if she screws up? Despite her fears, Brielle rises to the occasion. Her cello skills, and her leadership skills, improve as she grows into her new role. But just as Brielle is beginning to feel confident, Tawni returns. And she wants her job back. If Brielle steps down now, she'll lose her place in the spotlight. If she doesn't, her friendship could be in jeopardy.
Thirteen-year-old Nate needs a break from looking after his newly disabled mom. One day when his mom thinks he's at a cross-country meet, he goes to the mall with a friend he's forbidden to have contact with. At the skate shop he sees a new board he can't afford but has to have, and Nate gets talked into running a scam. It turns out Nate looks a lot like a teen TV star filming in the area. So he and his buddy get girls to pay cash to be extras on set. It's all fine until Nate meets a girl he really likes. Nate knows he has to tell her the truth, but he's not sure he has what it takes to come clean.
Elle has come to Nashville to become a star. She has what it takes, but her agent and all the label executives want to change everything about her - her hair, her body, her clothes and, most important, her music. So Elle becomes a blond, sings about cookin' for her man and wears tiny shorts and revealing tank tops. Then a chance meeting with an established female songwriter makes Elle realize that she's paying too high a price for success. Billboard Express continues the story that began in Rock the Boat by Sigmund Brouwer.
Fourteen-year-old Taz knows one thing for sure: she's a perfect disaster in the kitchen. Every time she tries to cook, chaos ensues. After fires, toxins and more than one minor injury, Taz will be happy if she makes it through her food-science class in one piece. But when the class enters a competitive race for a coveted program and Taz is put in a group that expects to win, the pressure is on. As the competition heats up, Taz is desperate to hold her own and not let her team down.
Until a few hundred years ago, people were embarrassed to buy bread in a store. Families took pride in making almost everything they owned. These days, many people take pride in buying as much as possible! New clothes, a speedier bicycle, the latest phone. If we've got money, someone can sell us a product that will supposedly make our lives better. But each year, humanity uses resources equivalent to nearly one and a half Earths, and we're still not meeting everyone's needs. Around the world, people are questioning consumerism, leaning toward more sustainable lifestyles and creating a whole new concept of wealth. What if you could meet all your needs while getting to know your neighbors and protecting the environment at the same time? Find out how growing a tiny cabbage can fight poverty, how a few dollars can help ten families start their own businesses and how running errands for a neighbor can help you learn to become a bike mechanic for free!