Zack Freedman has complete control and feels a sense of calm on the high wire. If only he could say the same about the rest of his life. His fellow youth circus performer and roommate, Cubby, hates him, and his aunt dumps a yappy, excitable dog on him. When a necklace is stolen during a circus performance and the victim of the theft threatens to shut down the circus, Zack is desperate to solve the mystery so he can keep his place on the wire.
Fourteen-year-old Maya sneaks out in her kayak before breakfast every day to check on a family of sea otters living in nearby Riley Bay. It's hard being an animal lover in a fishing family. The animals Maya loves threaten her family's livelihood, and Maya doesn't know if she can trust her family not to hurt them. She is determined to protect the sea otters, even if it means checking on them for the rest of her life. One morning, Maya discovers she's being watched. Who is it and what are they doing? Soon Maya has to trust someone as she gets caught in a dangerous race to save the sea otters--and her family's livelihood--from poachers.
Angus and his best buddy, Shahid, share a love of science and their robot, Gordon. But recently, the artistic Ella Eckles has had a peculiar effect on Angus. When a stink bomb at the school provides a chance for him to talk to her, he claims to share her interest in reading facial expressions and declares his ambition to become a crime-solving mentalist. He impresses Ella by identifying the stink bomber, but fails to mention he witnessed a scrawny kid setting off the bomb. When Ella's treasured sketchbook is stolen, she asks Angus to find the thief. Shahid thinks Angus should confess that he's not a mentalist, but Angus is certain he can learn to read people and recover Ella's sketchbook. He asks Shahid to help him investigate the suspects: Gaga Girl; the art teacher, Mr. Wilder; and finally, "scrawny kid." Equipped with rearview sunglasses and an informant who lurks in the washroom, the duo bungles their way through a series of encounters that alarm Shahid and provide Angus with some unfamiliar exercise.
Something downright creepy is happening on campus. When Jake's girlfriend, along with several other students mysteriously disappears, he does some research.
As if being deaf weren't challenge enough, Lupe encounters rampant sexism while working on assignment with the police department. She's almost ready to throw in the towel! Then the cops need her talents as a lip-reader. She earns their respect by cracking a difficult case.