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Struck

Deb Loughead (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554692132

Claire's life is a mess. She's failing math, her depressed mother won't get off the couch, Eric, the boy of her dreams, is dating her nemesis Lucy. While Claire is wishing her life were better, lightning strikes. Soon afterward, everything changes. With Lucy in the hospital and out of the way, Claire attracts Eric's attention and gets the starring role in the school play. But good fortune has a cost: her newly energized mother reconciles with her deadbeat dad, the dream boy turns out to be a dud and Claire feels terrible guilt about gaining everything Lucy has lost. But how can Claire turn it around when lightning only strikes once?

Benched

Cristy Watson (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554694105

When Cody and his friends accept a challenge from a local gang to steal a park bench, their main concern is keeping themselves on the gang's good side. Cody learns that the stolen bench had been dedicated to the father of the English teacher who sponsors the school newspaper; the paper that Cody has just started writing for - and he's worried about the consequences. As the gang applies pressure for more from Cody and his friends, he realizes they've crossed a line, and now he has to figure out how to make it right.

Splat

Eric Walters (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551439907

Keegan and Alex are the only kids in Leamington who haven't volunteered to help out with the town's annual tomato festival. In an attempt to teach them a sense of responsibility, their fathers put them in charge of the tomato toss. The boys decide it's their responsibility to add a little excitement to the event. They exchange the traditional wooden targets for human targets and, before they know it, they are running the most popular event at the fair. The excitement may be too much for the sleepy town and soon the tomato toss is taken to the streets.

After the Fire

Becky Citra (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554692477

Melissa is waiting for the "new life" that her mother Sharlene has promised her since a fire devastated their family. But nothing ever seems to change. Melissa has difficulty making friends at school, they never have enough money and her little brother Cody is a brat. When Sharlene announces that they will be spending the month of August at a remote cabin on a wilderness lake, Melissa is less than thrilled. But there is more to do at the lake than she expected, and she is surprised to learn that her mother knows how to paddle a canoe, fish and make bannock and s'mores. On an island in the middle of the lake, Melissa meets Alice, a strange girl who is writing a fantasy novel. Alice shares her tree fort on the island with Melissa, and while at first Melissa is attracted to Alice's strong personality and her stories of her "perfect family," she becomes increasingly uneasy around Alice. As Melissa's relationship with her mother improves and her confidence increases, she is able to hold her own with Alice and start to appreciate her own imperfect family.

One Peace: True Stories of Young Activists

Janet Wilson (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438948

One Peace celebrates the "Power of One," and specifically the accomplishments of children from around the globe who have worked to promote world peace. Janet Wilson challenges today's children to strive to make a difference in this beautifully illustrated, fact-filled and fascinating volume of portraits of many "heroes for today." Canadian Craig Kielburger, who started Free the Children to help victims of child labor at the age of twelve, has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Farlis Calle, forced to identify the body of a young friend -- a victim of her country's civil war -- started the Columbia Children's Movement for Peace. At age ten, Kimmie Weeks, a refugee from the Liberian civil war, came within a whisper of being buried in a mass grave. Almost miraculously he survived and vowed to make a difference in the lives of other children. At thirteen he established Voices of the Future, Liberia's first child rights advocacy group. Other portraits feature the accomplishments of children from Sarajevo, Japan, the United Kingdom, Cambodia, Afghanistan and the United States. These moving testaments to the courage and initiative of youth will inspire readers young and old.

Cabin Girl

Kristin Butcher (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459806511

Sixteen-year-old Bailey is working at her first summer job, as a cabin girl at a fly-in fishing camp at Witch Lake. She struggles with the job at first but enjoys hearing the stories of the area, including the legend of a local ghost. Then April, an older waitress with street smarts, takes Bailey under her wing and the two girls become friends. It’s all good until another waitress burns her arm and has to leave. Bailey gets a sudden promotion, and April is asked to help clean the cabins. April becomes far from friendly and Bailey finds herself alone again and messing up on the job—and possibly seeing the ghost.

The Big Apple Effect

Christy Goerzen (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459807402

After a lifetime of New Age “adventures” with her weirdo hippie mom, fifteen-year-old Maddie is realizing a lifelong dream and visiting New York City. Armed with her 130-item to-do list, Maddie hits the streets of New York with her friend Anna and Anna’s brother, Thomas. Maddie drags her friends around on an epic quest for the ultimate art-show outfit, oblivious to the fact that they don’t share her passion for vintage clothing. Three days into the trip, a most unwelcome surprise--the arrival of Maddie’s mother--threatens to derail the entire adventure. As her mother’s obsession with dietary trends and fortune-tellers takes center stage, and everyone’s tempers get thin, Maddie has to face some ugly facts about how she’s been treating her friends.

Hate Mail

Monique Polak (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459807778

Jordie’s cousin Todd has moved back to Montreal and is attending Jordie’s high school. Todd has autism and requires an aide. Todd has not been welcomed in the school. He’s known as a freak, and even other parents seem to resent Todd’s special needs. Jordie does everything he can to distance himself from his cousin, fearful of what his friends might think. When he learns that Todd’s whole family is buckling under the pressure of a hateful letter, Jordie starts to question his own behavior. But Todd’s resources are unique, and he soon finds a way to prove his worth to his peers and to the community at large. Inspired by real-life events, Hate Mail examines the transformative power of speaking out against prejudice.

FaceSpace

Adrian Chamberlain (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459801523

Fourteen-year-old Danny invents a fictitious friend in an effort to fit in at school, but his plan gets out of control, and he learns the truth wasn't so bad after all.

Destination Human

K. L. Denman (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459803732

Chloe thinks of herself as a normal teenage girl—if there's any such thing—until a formless alien being inhabits her body. The being is named Welkin and claims to be a Universal. Welkin has entered Chloe's body as part of a school project. Chloe agrees to let this weirdo observe her life for three days as long as Welkin doesn't interfere. Welkin tries to respect the non-interference portion of the agreement. But Welkin's stream of alien commentary as Chloe deals with boys, her coach and math homework has a comic, and sometimes enlightening, impact on Chloe's life.

Caught in the Act

Deb Loughead (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459804975

Dylan and his friends attract the attention of the police when a summer bonfire gets out of control. Dylan almost loses a job opportunity at a local inn because of his antics, but he is saved by the lies of Heather, an employee of the inn. When he is caught on camera stealing towels from a summer cottage after a skinny-dipping prank, Dylan and his friends become suspects in a number of cottage robberies. Dylan learns everything he can about the robberies, with the hope of clearing his name, and finds himself in more than one sticky situation in the process.

Walking Backward

Catherine Austen (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554691487

When Josh's mother dies in a phobia-induced car crash, she leaves two questions for her grieving family: how did a snake get into her car; and how do you mourn with no faith to guide you? Twelve-year-old Josh is left alone to find the answers. His father is building a time machine. His four-year-old brother's closest friend is a plastic Power Ranger. His psychiatrist offers nothing more than a blank journal and platitudes.Isolated by grief in a home where every day is pajama day, Josh makes death his research project. He tests the mourning practices of religions he doesn't believe in. He tries to mend his little brother's shattered heart. He observes, records and waits for his life to feel normal, for his mother's death to make sense, for his father to come out of the basement. His observations, recorded in a series of journal entries, are funny, smart, insightful and heartbreaking. His conclusions about the nature of love, loss, grief and the space-time continuum are nothing less than life-changing.

The Truth About Rats (and Dogs)

Jacqueline Pearce (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551434759

Unlike his perfect older sister, Jenna, Conner hates his piano lessons and gets bad grades in math. He's really good at bike tricks and he loves animals, but his parents have a no-pets rule and they don't take his bike-riding seriously. When the local animal shelter gets overcrowded, everybody in Conner's pet club agrees to take in a foster pet. Conner has to hide his rat, Oscar, from his family, who would never believe that Oscar is smart and cute and pretty lovable. Or would they?

When the Curtain Rises

Rachel Dunstan Muller (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551436173

Chloe McBride has some reservations about accepting her elderly great-aunts' invitation to spend part of the summer with them in Little Venice, but her initial reluctance is outweighed by her curiosity about the mysterious key that came with her aunts' note. She's also anxious to put the humiliating memory of a disastrous piano recital as far behind her as possible. Chloe's great-aunts tell her the legend of her great-grandfather, Dante Magnus, an ambitious magician who vanished without a trace almost a century earlier, and Chloe begins to search for clues to his disappearance. When her investigations eventually lead her to a mysterious rosewood box, which has been hidden for almost a hundred years, Chloe's belief in the power of magic forces her to confront her own fears and ambitions.

Bank Job

Norma Charles James Heneghan (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438597

Nell has been in foster homes all her lifemost of them have been horrible. She finally gets moved to a home she likes, and the ministry threatens to close it down unless an expensive renovation is made to the house. Nell and the two boys in the home, Billy and Tom, decide to raise the funds themselves. How do kids get large amounts of money quickly? By robbing banks, of course. Their first few heists are successful, but when they almost get caught on their sixth robbery, the friends start to fight about whether they should continue. The bank jobs that were meant to keep their family together just might tear it apart.

Impossible Things

Robin Stevenson (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551437385

Cassidy Silver is not having a good year. Her engineer father is in the Middle East, her artist mother is too busy to listen to the painful details of her daughter's grade seven life, her genius younger brother is being bullied, and her best friend Chiaki has abandoned her to hang out with the meanest girls in school. Then Cassidy meets Victoria, who is telekineticshe can move objects with her mind. Cassidy, desperate to not be the only ordinary person in her family, thinks learning telekinesis could be the answer to all her problems. But is Victoria telling the truth? And is telekinesis really the solution?

Emville Confidential

Don Trembath (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551436739

Baron dreams of being like his favorite hard-boiled detectives: tough, sexy and in control. In reality he's anything but, as his older sister, Kitty, never fails to point out. When a new client presents herself at their backyard detective agency, Baron and his best friend, Myles, are suddenly at odds. Will Wilson, new in town and lonely, choose Baron or Myles or neither? What happened to her sister's blue whale? And her sister? But the biggest mystery of all is whether Baron will ever tell Wilson how he feels.

Just J

Colin Frizzell (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438917

At thirteen, Jenevieve has some life issues, some death issues, and some everything-in-between issues. Her mother is dead, she's an outcast at school, her dad's an idiot and her little brother can be pretty annoying. Aunt Guin, who appears to be a bit "reality challenged," turns up just in time to rescue J from a fate worse than death - summer camp. Aunt Guin and her friend Art take J to a decrepit beach-front house where J is expected to sleep outside, eat healthy food and help with the renovations. When she escapes to the nearby sand dunes, she meets a boy named Connor and joins him in his search for a mythical dance hall buried in the dunes.

Orphan Ahwak

Raquel Rivera (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551436555

Aneze, a young Aboriginal girl, is left for dead after her village is ripped apart by a wife-raid; her father and brother are killed and her mother is kidnapped. Aneze is the only survivor. She renames herself Orphan Ahwak as she struggles to survive on her own, first in the forest and then in a remote world of tundra and sea-ice. She endures cold and hunger and befriends people whose customs are completely foreign to her. Through it all she remains determined to become a hunter and to find a place in an often hostile and terrifying world.

The Mountain That Walked

Katherine Holubitsky (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438122

The year is 1903, and Charlie Sutherland, a sixteen-year-old orphan, is on the run. Three years earlier, he was sent by Dr. Barnardo's Home in England to work on the remote Alberta homestead of Albert and Buck Brooks. Charlie has been treated poorly by the two brothers, but he has endured. However, when Albert dies under curious circumstances, and Buck accuses him of murder, Charlie has no choice but to run. He ends up in Frank, a coal-mining town in the Rocky Mountains. Once in Frank, Charlie finally finds friendship and a sense of belonging and self-worth—emotional qualities that had eluded him as a mere "Home boy." His new best friend is another English boy, who has recently received the deed to a homestead and is working to save for supplies. Things change dramatically, however, when—as the local aboriginals have for centuries predicted it would—the mountain walks. In this true event of April 29, 1903, Turtle Mountain collapses, burying a portion of the town. What Charlie does next is determined by the lessons he's learned from those he's become close to, the hard-working immigrants and colorful Canadians who struggled against all odds to populate the West.

Silver Rain

Lois Peterson (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554692811

Abandoned by her father during the Depression, eleven-year-old Elsie lives in the garage behind her old house with her mother, grandmother Nan and out-of-work uncle. Elsie's friend Scoop accompanies her as she searches for her father in the city, encountering unfriendly hobos, food lines and shantytowns. After both her uncle and her mother disappear on mysterious errands, Elsie and Scoop eventually discover them competing in a dance marathon. Persuading them to abandon the contest, Elsie and Scoop lead the exhausted dancers home, where Nan has news of Elsie's father and his impending return to the family.

Record Breaker

Robin Stevenson (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554699605

It's 1963, and Jack's family is still reeling from the SIDS death of his baby sister. Adrift in his own life, Jack is convinced that setting a world record will bring his father back to his senses and his mother back to life. But world events, including President Kennedy's assassination, threaten to overshadow any record Jack tries to beat from sausage eating to face slapping. Nothing works, and Jack is about to give up when a new friend suggests a different approach that involves listening to, not breaking, records.

The Gnome's Eye

Anna Kerz (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554691968

In the spring of 1954, when her father announces that the family has a chance to immigrate to Canada, Theresa's life changes forever. She and her family are wartime refugees from Yugoslavia; so it shouldn't be hard to leave Austria. But the weathered barracks of Lager Lichtenstein are the only home she knows, and they are filled with family and friends she doesn't want to leave behind. As she says her good-byes, Theresa's friend Martin gives her two gifts: a package of postcards and a stone he calls the Gnome's Eye, which he says will "protect her from all things evil, living or dead." Theresa is convinced the stone has no power, but she still keeps it close as they travel on the crowded immigrant ship and when they settle into a rooming house on Kensington Avenue in Toronto. At first Theresa is afraid of everything: the other tenants in the rooming house, the rat that lives in the kitchen, learning a new language. But as time goes by, Theresa's need for the Gnome's Eye fades, until she is finally able to give it to someone who needs it more than she does.

Tabloidology

Chris McMahen (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554690107

Take one prankster, put her together with the editor of the world's most boring school newspaper, add one over-worked principal, and you've got a recipe for the most chaotic few weeks in the history of Upland Green Elementary. The unlikely duo of Martin Wettmore, editor and expert grammarian, and Trixi Wilder, prankster extraordinaire, is given the task of improving the pathetic sales of their school newspaper. Martin and Trixi clash over everything from journalistic integrity (Trixi has none) to imagination (Martin has none). But when the paper starts to wreak havoc at the school, Principal Baumgartner shuts it down and assigns Trixi to Saturday morning bus-washing duty. To redeem themselves, Martin and Trixi resolve to create one very special edition of the Upland Green Examiner.

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.