Fourteen-year-old Dylan is sent to live with his estranged grandfather, Angus. Basically strangers, the two avoid each other as best they can. One day Dylan discovers a young orca stranded high up on the rocky beach. Dylan runs to tell his grandfather. There’s nothing that can be done, says Angus. The sun is coming up, and soon the orca will die of exposure. But Dylan knows he has to try to save the whale. He collects towels to cover the delicate skin of the orca and begins transporting buckets of water from the ocean below to keep it hydrated. It’s grueling work, and it will be hours before the tide comes back in and the water is high enough for the orca to swim free. Angus is moved by his grandson’s determination and helps as best he can. They both desperately hope that soon the orca will be able to join its family, who have been calling out to it just offshore.
Moving to a new city and a new school is never easy. So Lauren is relieved when Callie, Treena and Maddy welcome her into their group. But then Lauren witnesses their reaction to a first grader in a wheelchair. That boy is her little brother, Will. But she’s afraid that if she tells them, they may not want to be friends with her. Soon Lauren finds herself living a double life as she struggles with the challenges of building new friendships and trying to make it up to Will for not acknowledging him at school. At some point Lauren will have to make a decision. What is more important? Friends or family?
Reece's new dog, Ruckus, tears through life like a Tyrannosaurus rex. He bites everything that moves and drives Reece's mom nuts. The puppy was Dad's idea, to make things easier for Reece after his parents' separation, but Ruckus is not easy at all and Mom is getting fed up. When her diamond earrings go missing, it sends the family into a tailspin. What happens when a dog swallows something precious? Reece is about to find out. But they can't give up on this little Jack Russell terror, can they? He's family, after all. We first met Reece and his family in the Orca Echoes title Where's Burgess? by Laurie Elmquist.
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.
When ten-year-old Cyrus sees a For Sale sign plunged into his front lawn, it’s a complete and utter disaster. Usually, his younger brother, Rudy, is the scaredy-cat, but for the first time in his life, Cyrus is terrified. He’s lived at 637 Petunia Boulevard since he came to live with his adoptive mom and dad at two months old. Won’t he go hurtling into outer space without these four familiar walls to hold him in? Luckily, Cyrus has a few sneaky tricks up his sleeve to stop this moving business before it even gets started.
Better Together explores how people gather in groups of all kinds to fulfill the basic human need for companionship. From the smallest units of parents, siblings and friends to global organizations that try to build on a foundation of common human experience to meet their goals, people working together are a powerful force for change. Too often, we look at someone and see all the ways we are different. People all around the world come together to build things, teach and entertain each other, and provide everything from better health care to good food to security and education. Better Together examines the many ways we are the same, no matter where we live.
Cade's dad thinks triathlons are for wimps. He doesn't think it's a real sport and wishes Cade would play football instead, like his older brother, Trent. So Cade trains in secret and qualifies to compete in the provincial championship in Sylvan Lake. The night before the event, Cade's coach suddenly can't go, and Cade is forced to ask his dad for a ride there. He only agrees because Trent has a football game nearby. The road trip takes a nasty turn when his dad swerves to avoid a deer and their car hurtles into an ice-cold river. It's up to Cade to use his skills to save his entire family.
Inspired by memories of fantastic family birthday parties, mother-and-daughter team Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton researched the history of birthdays in order to answer such questions as, How much does where you grow up influence the way you celebrate getting a year older? Have people always celebrated birthdays? The more they investigated, the more they realized that there's a lot more to birthdays than cake, presents, a few games and perhaps a goody bag. They discovered there are as many ways to observe birthdays as there are places in which to do it.
When Charlie Sykes wakes up in hospital in St. John's, he learns that he and his father have been in a car accident and that his father is dying. Charlie inherits little more than the brass key that his father pressed into his hand before he passed away. As far as Charlie knows, he has no family in Newfoundland. But then Uncle Nick shows up and is keen to meet his nephew-not because of who Charlie is, but rather because of what Charlie has: the key. That key will unlock a treasure Uncle Nick began searching for more than thirty years earlier. And he would have found it all those years ago if he hadn't been arrested and sent away for murder. But Charlie isn't convinced he should give up the key. He leads Uncle Nick on a wild chase through old St. John's, across Signal Hill and out to the coast. There, high above the rugged Atlantic, Charlie finally comes face-to-face with Uncle Nick, the treasure, and a family history that will leave him with a new understanding of where he comes from and where he's going.
Callie's mother has chained herself to the neighbor's tree and is living inside the treehouse. She refuses to come down until the neighbor, Mr. Wilson, agrees to leave the tree standing. Soon reporters arrive to interview Callie about her mother's protest. Callie doesn't want to talk to anyone. More chaos ensues when Callie's grandmother invites the "singing grannies" to help save the tree, the neighbor's biker friends come to her aid, and Callie's friends show up to try to get themselves on TV. Callie needs to figure out how to get her mother to come down from the tree so that her life can return to normal.
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.
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 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.
Quid Pro Quo is a high-stakes, fast-moving legal thriller about real people, and funny people at that. Cyril MacIntyre's mother is a twenty-eight-year-old ex-street kid who drags her son to all her law school classes, then proceeds to get herself kidnapped. That aside, Cyril's life isn't too different from that of other thirteen-year-olds. He has all the usual adolescent issues to deal with: parent problems, self-esteem problems, skin, hair and girl problems. He just has legal problems too. And he's got to solve them if he wants to save his mother's life. Quid Pro Quo is the winner of the Arthur Ellis Award and the CBC Young Canada Reads 2009 award. It has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the Ann Connor Brimer Award.
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.
Fiona's life changed forever when her mother died in a South Pacific sailing accident. One year later, everyone tells her it is time to move on. To Fiona, moving on means leaving her mother behind-something she has vowed never to do. But Fiona's father has started dating again. His new girlfriend, Kathy, is a professional psychic who claims she can predict the future and communicate with the dead. Fiona is sure she is a fraud, although she secretly longs for her abilities to be genuine. With the reluctant support of her best friend Abby, Fiona sets out to put an end to her father's new relationship by trying to prove, with decidedly mixed results, that Kathy is a liar.
Colette Faizal isn't superstitious, so she doesn't worry when a fortune-teller advises Colette's mother to "watch for the unexpected." But when her father announces he is going back to Iran, her mother is hurt in a car accident and Colette is sent to live with the grandparents she's never even met, everything the mysterious woman predicted seems to be coming true. As Colette struggles to bring her family back together, she tries to hold on to the last thing the fortune-teller told her: "You will know how to handle what lies ahead."
"Slow and steady," that's how you make a grandfather clock. Grandpa should know. He and Cayley have made nineteen clocks together. Now they are making Cayley's very own, a Lord Nelson. Then, one night, Cayley awakes to the sound of a siren. Grandpa is gone. Cayley is scared by what she sees when she is allowed to visit him in the hospital. But scared or not, she knows what Grandpa needs, and she tells him, "Slow and steady" as he heals. The Lord Nelson clock waits, patiently, to be finished.
Sara loves her grandmother's bakery. It's a special place-not only because of its delicious Japanese buns and pastries. She enjoys spending time with her obaachan, her grandmother. But things aren't going well for the bakery. When the bakery's lucky cat statue goes missing, Sara wonders if the bakery's luck is gone for good. But then a mysterious cat appears in the backyard one night and inspires a plan. With the help of her friend, Jake, Sara just might find the statue and restore the bakery's lost luck.
Jack loves and misses his bus-driving grandfather. When Grandpa Nod got sick, Jack's mother said eight-year-old Jack was too young to visit his grandfather in hospital. When Grandpa Nod died, Jack's mother said Jack was too young to go to the funeral. One day after school, Jack gets on the wrong bus. To his surprise he discovers Grandpa Nod is in the driver's seat of the empty bus. Grandpa Nod takes him to all the places Jack was too young to go-the hospital, the funeral home and the cemetery. By the end of the ride, Jack has had the chance to tell his grandfather how much he misses him. And with his birthday coming soon, Jack receives a very special gift-Grandpa Nod's bus schedules. So even if he does get on the wrong bus, Jack will always be able to find his way home.
Seven-year-old Leland has trouble writing, but he loves drawing. He so dislikes his teacher that he conjures up Delilah, an imaginary seeing-eye dog to help him into class each day. When a neighborhood painter recognizes Leland's gifts as an artist, Leland grows more confident about the world as he uniquely sees it. And when his family's cat goes missing, it is Leland's keen observation skills that lead to finding him. Leland's newfound confidence helps him both confront and sympathize with his teacher, who only wishes Leland could be a bit more focused.