Fifteen-year-old Aiden is a minor cast member on a long-running high school "dramedy" with a low budget and a loyal following. Aiden and his friends are excited that they're being promoted to lead roles for the upcoming tenth season of Pop Quiz. But then they learn the show is being canceled. According to the producers, no one even watches TV anymore, with kids preferring the antics of YouTube stars. With the help of some former cast members and a group of hardcore fans, Aiden and his friends attempt to create a movie special to wrap up the storylines and give the series the send-off it deserves.
Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Sydney Hart was kicked out of the prestigious Burke Academy when her mother could no longer afford the tuition. She lost a promising future in the arts, as well as her best friend, who didn't want to be seen with an art-academy reject. But now, without Burke's rigid structure, Sydney has found her true passion in performance painting and is busking on Halifax's boardwalk to earn enough money to go to art camp. After the police shut her down, Sydney learns her old school is hosting a "brush-off" speed-painting contest with a cash prize. Entering would mean facing her painful past, not to mention her former friend, who's also competing.
In 1930 nine-year-old Miriam travels by train from Brooklyn to her grandparents' farm in upstate New York. Her grandparents are kind, generous people, but they aren't exactly ideal playmates for a lonely girl. When Miriam is not doing homework in the kitchen with Bubby or helping prepare meals for the migrant workers that Zayde hires to help out on the farm, she plays with the barn kittens born just before she arrived. Those kittens are her only friends, until the day Miriam discovers a young girl hiding in the barn. Cissy and her brother, Joe, who's one of Zayde's farm hands, are on the run from an abusive uncle back in Mississippi. Miriam and Cissy hit it off immediately. But their friendship is tested when Miriam is forced to choose between keeping a promise and doing the right thing.
Twelve-year-old Luke "Spin" Spinelli is sick of fake running, fake laughing and fake pointing. Sure, he once made the cover of Baby Show magazine, but now his secret modeling career is making him miserable. He dreams of using nonwhitening toothpaste. He can't wait to stop styling his hair. And he really wants to stop worrying that the school bully will discover he was once the face of Dribbleez Diapers. After all, Spin's just a normal boy looking for a hockey game and some pizza with extra cheese.
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.
After budget cuts force the Southside Saints football team to disband, Jamal and his friends have to settle for playing pickup on the hardscrabble field behind their high school. Then the president of a sporting-goods company offers to donate $20,000 worth of equipment to the team. There's only one catch: he wants to be the coach. Thrilled to have a real team together, the players turn a blind eye to Coach Fort's racism, bullying and discrimination. Until he takes it too far. Now its up to Jamal and his teammates to take back their team and show what they're made of.
Daniel Abel is surprised when, instead of being punished for "pantsing" another eighth-grader, he is invited to become an ambassador of Mountview High at the school's upcoming open house. What he doesn't realize is that he is part of a social experiment on bullying being conducted by the local university. He is a little nervous to learn he will be working with Jeff Kover, a tenth-grader with a reputation for being the biggest bully in the school. Daniel has never thought of himself as a bully. He just likes kidding around. But hanging out with Jeff will change Daniel's perspective on bullying and force him to examine his own behavior.
When ten-year-old Journey Song hears that two pandas are being held in a warehouse in her neighborhood, she worries that they may be hungry, cold and lonely. Horrified to learn that the pandas, originally destined for a zoo in Washington, might be shipped back to China because of a diplomatic spat between China and the United States, Journey rallies her friends and neighbors on the poverty-stricken Eastside. Her infectious enthusiasm for all things panda is hard to resist, and soon she's getting assistance from every corner of her tight-knit neighborhood.
Jane has no interest in boys. Her mom, Sherry, has brought home so many creeps over the years that Jane has decided to focus for the next five years on her studies. Her best friend, the boy-crazy Kiara, is obsessed with online quizzes and convinces Jane to help her create a questionnaire that will determine whether muscular Liam or Omar with the cute eyes is her true soul mate. Their friendship is tested when the answers come back with a surprising third option, the quiet and awkward Javier. Jane fails to reveal the results, which leads to some heated words being exchanged and long-held resentments (and possible secret crushes) being revealed. One of the besties will have to swallow her pride to make the first move and try to repair the damage.
Even though he's secretly terrified of deep water, and all the scary things that swim below, Tate wants to shake his boring reputation, and he agrees to travel with his class up the Amazon River to help build a village school. He has his fingers and toes crossed that he won't see any giant snakes or hungry piranhas. But there are even scarier things than anacondas lurking in the jungles of South America, and Tate soon learns of the legend of El Tunchi, a vengeful spirit that terrorizes those who harm the rainforest. When creepy things start happening and Tate keeps hearing El Tunchi's haunting whistle, he's sure the group must have angered someone. Or something. He and his friends need to figure out a way to make amends and get out of the jungle alive.
All the food you eat, whether it's an apple or a steak or a chocolate-coated cricket, has a story. Let's Eat uncovers the secret lives of our groceries, exploring alternative and sometimes bizarre farm technology and touring gardens up high on corporate rooftops and down low in military-style bunkers beneath city streets. Packed with interesting and sometimes startling facts on agriculture around the world, Let's Eat reveals everything from the size of the biggest farm in the world to how many pesticides are in a single grape to which insect people prefer to eat.
Until a few hundred years ago, people were embarrassed to buy bread in a store. Families took pride in making almost everything they owned. These days, many people take pride in buying as much as possible! New clothes, a speedier bicycle, the latest phone. If we've got money, someone can sell us a product that will supposedly make our lives better. But each year, humanity uses resources equivalent to nearly one and a half Earths, and we're still not meeting everyone's needs. Around the world, people are questioning consumerism, leaning toward more sustainable lifestyles and creating a whole new concept of wealth. What if you could meet all your needs while getting to know your neighbors and protecting the environment at the same time? Find out how growing a tiny cabbage can fight poverty, how a few dollars can help ten families start their own businesses and how running errands for a neighbor can help you learn to become a bike mechanic for free!
Declan's life in small-town Quebec is defined by his parents' divorce, his older brother's delinquency and his own lackluster performance at school, which lands him with a tutor he calls Little Miss Perfect. He likes his job at the local ice rink, and he has a couple of good buddies, but his father's five-year absence is a constant source of pain and anger. When he finds out the truth about his parents' divorce, he is forced to reconsider everything he has believed about his family and himself.
Northern Ireland. In 1999, one year after the Good Friday peace accord, sectarian violence still runs rampant in Belfast and the hatred between Protestant and Catholic runs deep. Liam O'Donnell's father is a peacemaker to the Catholic community. When twelve-year-old Liam's parents are brutally murdered in front of him, he is frozen in place. But when he sees the face of one of the attackers, he is forced to run for his life. Escaping, he finds shelter with a neighboring family. Taken to a police safe house, Liam is betrayed and forced to run again, from the very people who are supposed to be protecting him. Can he escape from his pursuer? Is there anywhere to turn for help?
When Shawn and Daniel witness a gang beating behind the local mall they flee the scene, terrified that they've been seen. They recognize one of the attackers as a locally infamous gang member. When they learn that the kid who was attacked is in critical condition, Shawn wants to go to the police, but Daniel convinces him that they are in more danger if they speak up. The threats they receive from other members of the gang reinforce the boys' fears. When the gang attacks Daniel, Shawn has to put his own safety at risk to help his friend.
Linda is shy and avoids getting involved at school. But when her high school sets up online chat rooms she can't resist the urge to visit them. Fuelled by interest in a student with the nickname Cyrano, Linda participates in online conversations using the nickname Roxane and gains a reputation as the queen of one-liners. Soon Linda starts receiving gifts from a secret admirer who signs his gifts, "C." She is certain that her life has taken a turn for the better until "C" reveals his true identity.
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.
Kip's only friends are the members of the Daredevil Club, a club whose mission is to complete seven dangerous dares before their rivals, the Wildmen, complete their list of dares. Before the cliff diving accident in which he lost the use of his leg, Kip had been the leader of the Daredevil club. Now he has difficulty completing the dares and suspects that his membership is threatened. As the daredevils plan their final stunt, a dangerous climb along a narrow steel shelf beneath a bridge, they try to convince Kip that he may not be up to the task. Kip refuses to back down even though he suspects his friends might be right.
Dana is excited about her school trip to Japan despite the fact that she is surrounded by the Melly Mob, "in-crowd" kids who make fun of her. Dana is certain she will be less of an outsider in Japan, home of manga and anime. But she soon discovers that it's just as difficult to fit in with a foreign culture as it is to fit in at school. And the only other manga fan that she meets refuses to talk to her. As Dana learns to meet people halfway and gains some friends in Japan, Melissa, leader of the Melly Mob, makes every effort to remind her that she's still an outsider.
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.
Life is hard for ten-year-old Safiyah in the Kibera slum outside Nairobi. Too poor to go to school, she makes a meager living for herself and her grandmother Cucu by selling things she finds at the garbage dump. After using scavenged paper to fix up the inside of the hut, Safiyah starts a mural on the outside. As word of the paper house spreads, Safiyah begins to take pride in her creation. When Cucu collapses after a fire, Safiyah stays at the hospital to help care for her grandmother. While Safiyah is away, her friend Pendo works on the mural, which upsets Safiyah. But when Pendo attracts media attention to the paper house, Safiyah and her grandmother are given a chance of a better life.
Twelve-year-old Astrid has come to Ghana with her family in 1979 so that her father can help oversee Ghanas first democratic election. Astrid and her brother, Gordo, were told it would be a great family adventure, but they soon find out that everything about Ghana is difficult; the heat, the food, the threat of disease, the soldiers on the roads, the schools. Gordo fits in more easily than Astrid, who is often left to look after her baby sister, Piper, as their mother begins to fall apart under the strain of living in Ghana. When the government is overthrown, Gordo comes down with malaria and a soldier threatens her family, Astrid is surprised to discover how protective she has become of her new home.
When we think of wild animals, we don't immediately associate them with the cities we live in. But a closer look soon reveals that we share our urban environment with a great many untamed creatures. Heavily illustrated and full of entertaining and informative facts, City Critters examines how and why so many wild animals choose to live in places that, on first glance at least, seem contrary to their needs. How do those deer, raccoons, squirrels, skunks, coyotes, crows, gulls and geese-not to mention the alligators, eagles, otters and snakes-manage to survive in the big city? What special skills do city critters have that many of their wilderness cousins lack? Why have they developed these skills? And what are our responsibilities in ensuring that these animals can continue to share our city lives?
Thea and her dad are always on the move, from one small Cariboo town to another, trying to leave behind the pain of Thea's mom's death. They never stay long enough in one place for Thea to make friends, but when her dad gets work renovating a guest ranch on Gumboot Lake, she dares to hope that their wandering days are over. At the ranch she makes friends with Van, a local boy, and works hard to build the trust of an abused horse named Renegade. When Thea unearths the decades-old story of a four-year-old girl who disappeared from the ranch and was never seen again, she enlists Van to help her solve the mystery. When some disturbing facts come to light, she finally starts to come to terms with the losses in her own life.
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.