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 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.
Charlotte Summers is sure that summer camp is going to be a disaster. And she’s right. But it’s not as disastrous for her as it is for her counselor, Abby. Abby has no control over the girls in her charge. The control is held by the cabin’s mean girl. Charlotte realizes that she could tip the balance of power and unseat the bully, but does she have the courage to go for it?
It's the summer of Connor Trent's sixteenth birthday, and the stakes for him have never been so high. Connor's summer job at the Bytowne Tennis Club allows him to train at a historic facility. It also throws him into confrontation with his rich-kid rival, Rex Hunter, whom he will battle for a berth in the National Junior Tournament. After a series of fundraisers is sabotaged, Connor suspects that someone wants to bankrupt the club and take over its valuable riverfront property. A fabled trophy, rumored to contain hidden cash, might solve all of Connor's problems—if he can win it.
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.
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?
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.
Marta is an outsider at school. Partly because she chooses to be. With parents who were once farmworkers, she was used to moving a lot. It was hard to make friends. Though now the family is settled, trouble seems to follow her. To escape, she draws. Her art teacher thinks she has a gift. He signs her up for a program in another city. As she leaves behind the drama back home, she encounters other places, people, and events that are just as dramatic and even dangerous. Her drawings seem to be responsible. This series of books was designed specifically for struggling teen readers. The contemporary fiction is written at accessible levels and provides substantive content without being edgy. The relatable plots appeal to teens, especially those who are reluctant to read. Books in the series quickly grab their interest with fast-paced storylines that feature realistic, sometimes larger-than-life teen characters readers can identify with or would like to know. Then there is an unexpected twist. The characters' lives are suddenly on the edgeÑof fame, fear, or even sanity. What starts out as fun or routine becomes a nightmare, real or imagined. As characters are tested in mind, body, and spirit, readers have a sense of being there to experience the adventure.
Marlon Moore is part of Walden Lane Middle School’s buddy program. The popular program helps new kids adapt to the school by pairing them up with a buddy. The buddy’s job is to help new students by introducing them to friends and showing them around the campus. Marlon takes his job seriously. New kid Robert seems like a cool guy and fits in well with Marlon’s crew. But Marlon learns quickly that Robert is a thief. First he steals some food from the local 7-Eleven. The boys think it’s a fluke. But then Robert steals from WowTech, a gaming and electronics store. He puts an old PSP into Marlon’s backpack, and he steals a high-tech smartphone for himself. Marlon wants to ghost his new buddy, but his sister, Ashley, convinces him that Robert is worth saving. Walden Lane is a quintessential small city. And these chapter books describe a typical American family, with busy schedules and the usual problems. The series explores suburban life in a fun way, with topics appropriate for younger readers. These gentle reads are innocent, hopeful, and sometimes funny, with no unsettling surprises or storylines. Each book is 5,000 words (approx.) and 10 chapters.
Marlon has said something without thinking. Again. He is such a bigmouth. But this time he's in trouble. He dissed Kevin Detroit's mother. Who does that? It doesn't matter that Kevin does it first. The guys were just kidding around like they always do. But now the new kid wants to beat Marlon up after school. What can Marlon do? 1. Reason with Kevin. 2. Hide out in the nurse's office. 3. Get sent to the principal's office. 4. Pick a fake fight and get sent home. But none of those plans work out. Marlon is terrified. He is in no shape to fight. Fighting is wrong. Kevin is a big kid! What's going to happen? Marlon is resigned. He's ready for the after school fight when something strange happens. Walden Lane is a quintessential small city. And these chapter books describe a typical American family, with busy schedules and the usual problems. The series explores suburban life in a fun way, with topics appropriate for younger readers. These gentle reads are innocent, hopeful, and sometimes funny, with no unsettling surprises or storylines. Each book is 5,000 words (approx.) and 10 chapters.
Marlon and Steve are going camping with their dads in the rural mountain town of Dry Oak. To Marlon's disappointment, there is no cell service at the campsite. What will he do without his phone? Marlon and Steve are playing a new video game from the creator of Clan Castles, and it's rad. Now the online players will be ahead of him. Whatever! The trip is only for three days. Marlon helps with the tent. He goes fishing. The camp food is actually good. But he wants more adventure and excitement, so he convinces Steve to go on a night hike. There are no lights on their trail, and it's darn cold. The boys get more than they expect when they get lost. When they spy a house in the woods, all Marlon can think of is a horror movie. And he takes off when he hears a terrifying sound, thinking his buddy is right behind him. But Steve has gone into the house! Walden Lane is a quintessential small city. And these chapter books describe a typical American family, with busy schedules and the usual problems. The series explores suburban life in a fun way, with topics appropriate for younger readers. These gentle reads are innocent, hopeful, and sometimes funny, with no unsettling surprises or storylines. Each book is 5,000 words (approx.) and 10 chapters.
Someone has tagged the science building at Walden Lane High School. Ashley Moore is upset. School is supposed to be a safe place, and now she no longer feels safe. Students from the Key Club decide an act of community service is in order. The students organize and repaint the tagged wall during their lunch break and after school. They plan a fundraiser to pay for new glass for the painted windows. Kayla Flores agrees to paint after senior class president Alex Torres says he'll give her a signed program from Wicked. When Ashley gets the program from Alex's trunk, she finds cans of spray paint in the same color used to tag the school. Why would a star student on a full ride to USC wreck the school? Ashley is stunned and angry. After her confrontation with Alex, she questions her compassion and rigidity. Will Alex do the right thing? What, exactly, is the right thing to do? Walden Lane is a quintessential small city. And these chapter books describe a typical American family, with busy schedules and the usual problems. The series explores suburban life in a fun way, with topics appropriate for younger readers. These gentle reads are innocent, hopeful, and sometimes funny, with no unsettling surprises or storylines. Each book is 5,000 words (approx.) and 10 chapters.
Since moving hundreds of miles to a new school, Daria has become increasingly dependent on her cell phone. Texts, Facebook and phone calls are her only connection to her friends in Calgary, and Daria needs to know everything that is going on at home to feel connected to her old life. Her cell phone habit looks a lot like addiction to her mother and to her new friend Cleo. Daria dismisses the idea of technology addiction as foolish until her habit puts a life in danger.
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.
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.
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.
Camp out! Bryan and Syd are totally different, but they were put together as camp roommates and have to learn to get along. Tara and Shelly overcome their fears to become members of the camp's canoe squad. Tex and Indi make a blanket fort to pretend they're camping in the woods! Zach, Miguel, and Dad go camping. When they go to bed, they listen for animal noises, but all they can hear is Dad snoring! Stories by Highlights for Children, Carol A. McClelland, Lissa Rovetch, and Marianne Mitchell.