Just like prose, a novel in verse tells a story. But verse is unique because readers access the text through short chapters, or poems. The varying lengths of the chapters are ideal for a struggling reader, giving them breaks to collect their thoughts, to imagine the characters in their mind's eye, and to set the scene - like a frame in a movie. Like watching a movie frame by frame, we watch Lexi is come unglued in this novel in verse. She's alienated from school and family. Her father is in the county jail. She cannot connect with her chain-smoking stepmom. Her brother, Blaine, is trapped in his own autistic world. And her infant sister's death has sent her into a spiral of grief and rebellion. Bright, witty, and irreverent, Lexi tries to navigate the rocky transition from adolescent to young woman. Winner of the 2014 Gold Moonbeam Award.
Capital Central High School, or Cap Central as the students like to call it, is in the northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C. Any urban school faces broad challenges, and Cap Central is no different. But some tight-knit juniors meet the difficulties head-on with courage, friendship, determination, and hard work. Rainie's grades were slipping. Good grades were a lifetime ago. Back when her dad was around. Before her moms boyfriend started hanging out at their house. Commenting on her figure. Looking her up and down. Before she decided to stop eating. Become invisible. Her friends were alarmed, especially Joss. She knew times were tough for Rainie's family. But she felt like there was more going on. Something serious. And she was going to figure it out. Reading Level: 3.5. Interest Level: Young Adult
Capital Central High School, or Cap Central as the students like to call it, is in the northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C. Any urban school faces broad challenges, and Cap Central is no different. But some tight-knit juniors meet the difficulties head-on with courage, friendship, determination, and hard work. Keshawn's life was about before and after. Before, Keshawn didn't have a computer. After, he helped his mom install software on their new computer. To monitor him. What a joke! It got him thinking. He could make money. So he offered his skills. Grades for cash. It was that simple. Only it wasn't. Then he realized Neecy was his way out. She needed good grades. But she wanted to earn them. Keshawn knew she would make it right. Fingers crossed.
Brandi is smart and outgoing, but sometimes insecure and gullible. Marisa is graceful and articulate, but often too driven. Shane is a natural leader with a lot of spirit, but rebellious and headstrong. The girls have been inseparable since middle school. But now they are playing in the big leagues, and it's time to grow up and start thinking about the future. And Port City, Texas, is not all that. High school drama has a way of solidifying or destroying friendships. Will they stay tight or get swallowed up by Port City High? Or will they go from freshman to senior year and beyond remaining the best of friends? Book 3 in the series.
Scream Loud: Vanessa House has a lot on her mind. Shes not perfect like her shy half-sister Victoria. Plus living with her father and his new wife in a cushy lifestyle makes her feel guilty about the struggles her mom and siblings have to endure. Hooking up with a wild friend, she gets out of control. Quiet Strength: After GHH loses their star kicker to the rival high school, Emerson thinks that hes the best guy to take ER Stones place. But the coach wont give him any play time because the season has already started. Emerson has another reason for wanting to make the team. Her name is Vanessa House. Book 3 in the series
All In: Gullible Victoria House worries about everything. She worries about being too fat and not being as bold as her half-sister Vanessa. Then some terrible rumors about her family cause her to rebel and take off. Only baller, Stone Bush, can draw her back and teach her how to stand up for herself. Stand Firm: Stone has vowed to never be like his using, abusing, rock star dad. But now that the coach is threatening to bench him, will he turn to performance enhancing drugs just to keep balling? What will Vanessa think about his use of steroids? Book 4 in the series
Ronette wants to fly solo for a while. But Cornell Londona senior is interested. Ronette's not sure shes ready for another relationship. Besides, Jayson still wants her back; for now he's firmly in the friend column. Chyna, her frenemy roommate, has stolen one of her poems and rapped it, which puts them on the verge of a hip-hop deal. No lie. Now the Houseman Gammas are knocking. Book 3 in the series
More than entertainment, these books can be a powerful coping tool when a struggling reader connects with the text. Paperback books look and feel like a trade edition and are complete in just under 200 pages. Naomi's cousin, Carlotta Valencia, is coming to live with the Martinez family. And she is a handful--a spoiled brat with a chip on her shoulder. She is a flirt. She is brazen. She is promiscuous. But under the eye of the Martinez parents, she now has to do chores and homework. Shes jealous of Naomi. And she has her eye on Ernesto. Then Clay. But Ernesto loves Naomi. And Clay loves Mira at least he finds out he truly loves his girlfriend when he takes Carlotta out; he wants an easy score. But he is spotted by Mira's friends and quickly tells Carlotta to get lost. He realizes he has too much to lose. After getting shot down again and again... embarrassed...deflated...Carlotta cleans up her act. She does her schoolwork. And she starts mentoring a freshman girl who she connects with. Carlotta learns that she has a lot going for her and a lot to offer...thanks to Naomi and Ernesto.
More than entertainment, these books can be a powerful coping tool when a struggling reader connects with the text. Paperback books look and feel like a trade edition and are complete in just under 200 pages. Mona Lisa is average. Not pretty. Not ugly. Shes very insecure and lacks self confidence. Mona's mom harps on her to start dating. Then Julio begins to show an interest in her. Hes on the track team and a close friend of Ernestos. When Mona returns Julios interest, though, her mom is upset because Julio is not from a good family. Hes poor. His father is practically a bum. They live in a mobile home, and not the plush kind. Not the type of people Mrs. Corsella approves of. And she hatches a plan to get her daughter to date someone more socially acceptable. Mona becomes defiant, running away from home. Her mom is convinced shes been kidnapped by Julio. But Julio turns out to be the hero when Mona calls him to rescue her in Phoenix after she is approached by a smarmy guy and loses all of her cash.
More than entertainment, these books can be a powerful coping tool when a struggling reader connects with the text. Paperback books look and feel like a trade edition and are complete in just under 200 pages. Ernesto and Naomi are mentoring two at-risk freshmen who've had it rough. Naomi's father isn't happy that shes hanging around at-risk kids, but Ernesto convinces him that the kids are fine. Meanwhile, Clay is up to his cruel tricks. Mira has taken him back, and his parents have rewarded his bad behavior with a new car. Its too hard to resist temptation; someone has let the air out of the new cars tires. Meanwhile, Mira's ex- and rebound, Kenny, is floored when Mira dumps him and takes Clay back. Kenny gets another kid to call Clay and accuse Mira of cheating. Clay is livid but doesn't lose his temper like hes done in the past. Is volatile Clay turning over a new leaf? Mira begs Ernesto to find out who made the call.
Gravel Road, award-winning realistic teen fiction, highlights the talents of our urban street lit authors. Each book is approximately 200 pages, and is written at a 3.0 reading level. Nasreen and Mia are two very different girls. But they stand out at Arondale High. And kids make assumptions about the only Muslim and the new black girl--the only African American--in school. "Who let you into the suburbs?" Samantha asks. Everyone gawks. Nasreen has kept her head down for years. Eighteen months and shes out, she tells herself. Off to college. Mia is bold. Yeah, she wishes she were somewhere else, but shes not going to take the bullying lying down. She has to live her life. Graduate. Get into a good school. The school administrators are ignorant. And worse. The bullying escalates. Both at school and online. The girls come up with a plan to fight back. To regain some dignity. To turn the tables on the bullies.
Real Diva: After some unsettling news for Yaris Fernandez, everyone is "up in her business." Her dad forbids her from seeing her boyfriend, Hagen, who is hangin' with the wrong crowd. He even threatens to move the family away. Yaris decides to take charge and fight for what's right. Man Up: Hagen Cruz is making some bad decisions. Hes hangin' with gang members and pressuring his girl, Yaris, to go all-the-way. When she says no, he dumps her and gets a ton of grief from her cheer crew. Hes lost so much, but is to too late to rebuild his relationships? Book 5 in the series
The Lockwood Lions crosstown rivals, the Grovehill Giants, seem to have it all. Or do they? When the cheer squad and the ballers get together, it always gets intense. But there are two sides to every story - whose side are you on? Each novel in the flip is approximately 30,000 words170 pages. The ladies of Savvy Girl - Skylar, Ariel, Vanessa, Victoria, and Yaris - have their ups and downs. But they won't let their drama interfere with the state title. The ballers of Fresh GuyFord, Ryder, Emerson, Stone, and Hagenare tough athletes and grand showboaters. But can they take it to the Dome? Golden Heart: The gorgeous Ariel Holiday always gets what she wantsaccording to her. After crossing the line one-too-many times she has no one to turn to except Ryder when something terrible happens to her family. Deep Soul: Ryder-super fine baller and captain of Grove Hills defense gets a little too friendly with a smokin' hot teacher. After connecting with beautiful Ariel, hes trying to get back on track, but Ryder's mother and Ariel's father have some serious objections to this budding relationship. Book 2 in the series.
The Lockwood Lions crosstown rivals, the Grovehill Giants, seem to have it all. Or do they? When the cheer squad and the ballers get together, it always gets intense. But there are two sides to every storywhose side are you on? Each novel in the flip is approximately 30,000 words170 pages. The ladies of Savvy GirlSkylar, Ariel, Vanessa, Victoria, and Yarishave their ups and downs. But they wont let their drama interfere with the state title. The ballers of Fresh GuyFord, Ryder, Emerson, Stone, and Hagenare tough athletes and grand showboaters. But can they take it to the Dome? Forever Hot: Skylar Cross is the hot new cheerleader at Grove Hill High. Its tough for her starting a new school, in a new state, while resenting some pretty dramatic changes at home. Good thing she has caught the eye of hot baller Ford Frost. Truely Fine: Ford Frost is having a hard time recovering from his parents divorce. Meeting Skylar Cross for the first time is instant chemistry and just what he needs to pick himself up so he can help lead GHH to victory. But will a betrayal by the coach send him off the rails again? Book 1 in the series
Will has left his troubled teen years behind. He's stayed out of trouble. Traveled. Worked odd jobs. Matured. Now he's coming home. No one could be more thrilled than his mother, Nia. But old family secrets keep them apart. And one shattering event may destroy their relationship for good and ruin everyone's shot at happiness. This three-book series keeps the tension tight and the interest high. Titles include: Coming Home, Searching for Answers, and The Truth.
Harriet Tubman HS - Jaris and Marko were in a position where they could see through the doorway. The slider was open to let in cool, fresh air. Sereeta was sitting in a chair from the kitchen table. Her hands were bound. An older woman sat in another chair, her hands bound too. The woman looked disheveled. Her face was bruised and swollen. Two little girls huddled in one corner of the room, clutching stuffed animals and whimpering. Their eyes were wide with terror.
Harriet Tubman HS - Denique thought that if she wasn't so messed up in her head, she'd sort of like Trevor. But it would just end badly. So she focused on school. She wanted to graduate and get a job. College was now out of the question. Her family lived in the projects. Denique had to get a job as soon as possible after high school. With her and her mother bringing in money, the family could move to a better, safer place.
Harriet Tubman HS - Jaris was furious. He would never keep a secret from Sereeta. And he was hurt that Trevor thought he was hot for another chick. He hired Amberlynn Parson because he thought she was best for the job. Period. But Jaris kept second-guessing his decision. Trevor stirred up Jaris's self-doubts. Jaris was often unsure of himself anyway. Like Pop, he was always questioning himself. He feared that the girl's looks had influenced him, and that thought bothered him.
Port City High is the big leagues to incoming freshmen Brandi, Marisa, and Shane. They are on a high school high and loving it. But high school closes as many doors as it opens. Will these besties stay tight or get swallowed up by Port City High?
Cesar Chavez HS Series--David Morales spent two years in prison flying under the radar. Now he's determined to be a good citizen. And his luck turns when Carmen Ibarra's father offers him a job. David falls hard for a smart and pretty coworker. But can he ever tell her about his ugly past?
Cesar Chavez HS Series--Bullying is spreading like wildfire at Chavez High. Students who should know better harass an older teacher. Freshmen are being picked on by cliquish and popular mean girls. Negative tweets and Facebook posts damage school spirit. Then one night the school library is tagged. Can the damage be undone?
Harriet Tubman HS Series-- With the state of mind Trevor was in, Vanessa could talk him into anything. Would Vanessa get Trevor involved in crime again? It could happen, only this time Trevor might not be so lucky. But back then, Trevor had had enough brains to dump her. Now he was in deeper. The web Vanessa had woven around him was stickier and tighter.
Harriet Tubman HS Series-- On the brink of her freshman year at Tubman High, something clicked in Chelsea's mind. Shadrach rescued animals. And in a way, he saved kids by teaching them respect. Now she and her friends were rescuers by volunteering at the shelter. Jaris was a rescuer too. He was trying to save Sereeta's mom. And, maybe Maurice would have to rescue Athena from getting into trouble.
Harriet Tubman HS Series-- Trevor's mother was dead set against Vanessa Allen. Trevor knew the old angry frown would come quickly if she learned that Trevor had been seeing Vanessa behind her back. Even his brother Tommy thought the high school dropout was bad news. But Trevor was almost a man, and he wasn't listening to everyone's warnings.
Harriet Tubman HS Series-- Chelsea Spain bridled under her father's harsh rules. But she was growing up too fast. Someone had to rein her in until she had enough sense to handle herself better. Whenever there was the temptation to take a risk, she went for it. Egged on by her immature friends, was it too late to learn that some risks are just not worth taking?