In the late 1850s in and around Carson City, struggles between the Indians and the local whites are growing. During the struggles, Joselyn, a young orphan, meets Sarah Winnemucca, a Paiute girl who becomes her friend and gives her some valuable advice. When Joselyn takes that advice and escapes from the Carson City Home for Unfortunate Children, she has no idea that her boy's disguise and her love for and expertise with horses will lead her straight to the Pony Express. Joselyn becomes Jo and turns to a life that demands all her inner strength and resources. Then the meanest man on the route learns her secret and uses it to extract a promise that kept or broken could mean death.
When Nick and Kia arrive for try-outs for the basketball team they played on the previous year, they are surprised to learn that their coach is retiring. The surprises continue when the new coach is introduced. Coach Barkley, a former college star known for his fierce desire to win, missed out on a pro career due to a serious injury. Though the coach has been away from the game for many years, his competitive instincts are as strong as ever and his aggressive coaching techniques are a new experience for these kids. Practices are long and hard and not nearly as much fun as they used to be. Suddenly making the rep team no longer seems the sure thing that Nick and Kia expected when they came to try-outs. The new coach expects near perfection from the youngsters and does not deal well with anything less. This is hard on Nick and Kia, but especially difficult for the coach's son, L.B., who is also trying out for the team.When the coach matches them up against a team of older players and then refuses to accept their loss, the kids begin to wonder if they even want to make this team. Nick, Kia and L.B. finally have to decide whether to play for a tyrant or to take a stand on principle and face the consequences. Book 4 in the series.
When Molly learns a talent competition is coming to town, her friend Murphy (A Different Game, Murphy and Mousetrap) becomes her manager. Molly is certain she is a good singershe has been singing in her head for as long as she can remember. She doesn't sing out loud because of a promise she made to herself. Years ago, Molly vowed that her mom would be the first one to hear her sing. The only problem is, Molly knows nothing about her mom, who left when Molly was a baby. With the talent competition only weeks away, she has to decide whether to break her promise to herself and let her voice out into the world, or wait for her mother's uncertain return before singing for anyone else.
Murphy's mother has just moved him and their cat, Mousetrap, back to the reserve in Port Alberni. Although he belongs to the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation, Murphy is sure that he won't fit in, and he worries about Mousetrap, who has always been an indoor cat. When a bunch of local boys drag him to their soccer practice, put him in goal and pelt him with balls, he believes that his worst fear has come true. However, he seems to be discovering a new talent at the same time. And perhaps he has misjudged. Being a light-skinned city boy thrust onto a reserve far from the city is not easy, but maybe Murphy has what it takes.
Readers of Hoop Crazy will remember Ned as the bug-loving beanpole who lives in an isolated national park out West, three hours from the nearest basketball court. But Ned's participation in the three-on-three tournament when he visited Nick has sparked his interest in the game and now he and his father have built their own basketball court in the wilderness. And Ned's hoop skills have improved considerably. Nick and Kia are just beginning to get the hang of life in the wilderness when disaster strikes. A raging forest fire threatens to destroy Ned's home and cut off their escape.
In the sequel to Discovering Emily, Emily Carr is determined to become an artist. But her parents have died, and she and her siblings are ruled by the iron-willed eldest, Dede. Dede is more concerned with decorum than with ridiculous dreams and is not averse to punishing Emily severely. In the face of such resistance, and in the conservative climate of nineteenth-century Victoria, Emily must find a way to make her dream come true.
Seeing-eye pup, Shakespeare, conquered many fears in Rescue Pup. Now he is back, about to be matched up with a blind boy, ready to begin his working life. Tim is enraged by his blindness and wants nothing to do with a guide dog. But he is no match for Shakespeare.
Nick, Kia and their basketball-playing pals are back in this sequel to Eric Walters' very successful "Three on Three". With the three-on-three tournament over, it's now time for tryouts for the school rep team. The question is will grade three students Nick and Kia have any chance to make the team? After all the rep team is normally made up only of grade five players. When Nick and Kia decide that they will try out for the team, they find they get a chilly and somewhat hostile reception from the older students. Even the coach seems to give them little hope of making the team. Only their old teammate Marcus is willing to stick up for them. But their determination pays off and they make the team, though both seem destined to ride the bench for much of the season. And the team itself does not get off to a good start, losing its first four games. And then Kia has an idea that she thinks might turn things around. But she and Nick will have to convince their reluctant teammates to buy into the plan and that's won't be easy. Once they persuade Marcus, Kingsley and Roy to practice the new strategy, the future begins to look brighter. Now at least Nick and Kia are getting some playing time, but can they keep the momentum going through the playoffs? Book 2 in the series
Young Emily Carr has no interest in learning to be a lady. She loves animals and the outdoors, and she is beginning to discover that what she loves most of all is drawing and painting. Will she find a way to develop her talent in the straitlaced world of nineteenth-century Victoria, British Columbia?
Addison Addley hates math. He hates public speaking too. Actually, he hates anything that involves work, but he only has a couple of weeks to write and memorize his grade five speech. The problem is, he can't think of a single topic. When he finally comes up with an excellent idea for a speech, it almost writes itself, but it's his poor math skills that make speech day unforgettable.
Addison's mother wants to sell their comfortable old house and move into a townhouse in a new development across town - a shoe box near a shoe factory, Addison calls it. As usual, Addison's brain goes into overdrive as he tries to solve two problems: first he must get his mother to see their old house in a new light, and then he must figure out who is responsible for a rash of neighborhood break-ins that make his mother feel unsafe. With the help of his friend Sam, he puts his own unique spin on optical illusions (and home decor) and ends up surprising everyone, even himself.
Addy has worn hearing aids for as long as she can remember. Her mother tells her this makes her special, but now that Addy's in grade six, she wants to be special for what she's done. When Addy joins the school running club to keep her best friend, Lucy, company, she discovers she is a gifted runner. Lucy isn't, which is problematic. Further troubles surface when Addy gets paired on a school project with Sierra, a smart, self-assured new classmate who wears a cochlear implant. Addy is surprised to discover hearing loss is all they have in common and a shared disability is not enough of a foundation for a friendship. True friends support each other, even if they have different passions and dreams. More importantly, Addy comes to understand that she is defined by more than her hearing loss. She has the power to choose how people will see her, and she does.
Justine and her friends are all about being green and helping the planet, one fun-filled environmental project at a time.
In Justine McKeen, Pooper Scooper, the third book in the Justine McKeen series, Justine gets her friends to help her clean up the dog poop in the park across from the school board's offices in an effort to get the attention of the superintendent of schools. She hopes the efforts of her crew of cheerful pooper scoopers will help get the superintendent to see that bringing their school librarian back to work is the right thing to do.
In Justine McKeen, Walk the Talk, the second book in the Justine McKeen series, Justine decides there are too many cars idling in front of her school. So she comes up with a solution that should help keep the air cleaner. But she soon discovers not many adults trust her crazy ideas.