Casey Finnegan is a talented skateboarder. He lives to skate. At the end of his final year of high school, Casey is wondering what to do with his life. He hasn't applied to any colleges, and other than skateboarding, he doesn't believe he's very good at much of anything. When a young movie star contacts Casey and offers him the job of stunt double in an upcoming skateboarding movie, Casey is stoked. It's his dream job, and Casey jumps at the opportunity to train the star. But when word gets out about Casey's new gig, a local skater has other ideas about who would make the best stunt double.
Sixteen-year-old Spencer loves his job at the local racing stable, but when he becomes convinced that someone is drugging the racehorse Lord of the Flies, no one believes him. In an effort to find out who is behind a dangerous race-fixing scheme, he takes on some of the most unsavory members of the track community. By refusing to turn a blind eye, Spencer risks losing those he cares most about, including Em, the stableowner's niece.
Jack Spencer has more to worry about than being kicked off his high school's basketball team. He uncovers suspicious circumstances surrounding the car crash that severely injured his mother and learns of his father's arrest for fraud. Jack's dad is tough on him, but he has learned to live with it. For the most part, he has it pretty good. Jack is a star player on his high school basketball team with everything going for him-scoring records, popularity and an easy path to a college scholarship. Almost as fast as the crash that put his mom in the hospital, everything Jack believes in starts to crumble. His only hope is to discover what's really going on, and quickly. If he doesn't, Jack may lose much more than a basketball career.
Ray Hockaday plays center for the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Western Hockey League. He's spent his hockey career hiding something from the world. When his new Russian room-mate shows up, Ray is assigned to help Vlad get used to life in Canada. What Ray doesn't know is that Vlad is also hiding something. And that secret could get both of them killed.
Byron is psyched when his older brother Jesse invites him on a weekend caving trip—even if it means spending time with Cole, Jesse's obnoxious college roommate. With Jesse's girlfriend Michelle rounding out the group, Byron is sure the excursion will be a success. Things get tense when they near the cave, only to find that the way in is blocked. Byron stumbles on the entrance to a new cave, but the thrill of his discovery is overshadowed by Cole's increasingly strange behavior. Exploring a wild cave is always dangerous, but it becomes deadly as tempers fray and the water level inside the cave starts to rise. When an underground confrontation leaves his brother seriously injured, Byron has to make some life-or-death decisions—and every second counts.
Sixteen-year-old Salvador "Slam" Amaro thinks being the assistant coach of the Brookfield High School girls' basketball team will be an easy gig. Show up, run a few drills and pad his resumé so he can win a spot on the Ontario Provincial Under-17 team. But Slam's job suddenly gets a lot harder when the girls' coach and her daughter, the star point-guard, vanish after being threatened. Getting to the bottom of their disappearance puts Slam in confrontation with a mysterious stalker. But that's not his only problem. With the girls facing playoff elimination, Slam has to come up with some new coaching strategies while he battles some tough competitors for a place on the Ontario squad.
Trenton Hiser is trying to walk in the footsteps of his uncle, Mike Hiser, a successful Hollywood director. During Trenton's summer vacation, he goes with his uncle to film the inside story of Scarlet Thunder, a top-level stock-car racing team. As they film the action, too many things go wrong, deadly mistakes are made and Trenton finds out that much more than the race is at stake.
At 17, star defenseman Craig McElhaney likes his chances of making it as a pro hockey player. Yet, a string of recent "accidents" threatens to knock his team out of the playoffs and ruin his promising career. Craig has begun to question how many "accidents" can happen before they become more than a coincidence. But it's not a good time for questions. Not in the spotlight of high-pressure hockey. Not when the team needs him most. And not when he has some important lessons to learn about life. For Craig, however, there is no choice. Unless the questions are answered, the team's season and his promising career will surely end.
Izzy and Julia have been on the same team for years. Izzy is frustrated that Julia spends too much time cherry-picking and getting all the credit when they score. But when someone starts threatening the team and their home field is sabotaged, the friends must work together to find the answers. Why would someone threaten their star player? And what is the connection to a century-old train robbery and the rumor of buried treasure? Trying to solve the mystery and keep the team in the playoff race, Izzy and Julia find themselves in deeper than they thought, and in more danger than they imagined.
After losing yet another tae kwon do tournament, Jinho gives in to his anger and breaks his opponent's fingers. While this gets him barred from competing at his dojang, it also gets him scouted by Austin, a trainer for an underground mixed martial arts club. At first the prospect of fighting without boundaries appeals to Jinho, but the more involved he gets, the more disturbing he finds it and the harder it is to find a way out. Unlike legal MMA, which has rules and regulations, underground MMA is a free-for-all: there are no weight classes and no referees to stop the fight should it go too far. When Jinho is set up to fight a boy known as The Ripper, he realizes that he doesn't belong in this world, but the only thing that can save him is the ancient code of tae kwon do.
After a member of her competitive cheerleading team is injured in practice, sixteen-year-old Marnie is asked to be a flyer-the most coveted role in cheerleading. The Soar Starlings team has a real shot at the provincial championship, and Marnie has only a few weeks to prepare. But as she scrambles to polish her lifts and throws, Marnie's personal life begins to unravel. First, her boyfriend of two years breaks up with her, and then her best friend Arielle, captain of the Starlings, disappears during a team trip to Toronto. As Marnie struggles to adjust to being both a flyer and the team's new captain, she realizes that, to be a leader, you have to let go of old alliances to make room in your life for new ones.
Fifteen-year-old Kyle Evans has been a jock for years—a triple threat basketball player who can dribble, pass or shoot with considerable skill. But once he decides to try out for the school musical production at Sainsbury High, Kyle finds there is much more to life than hightops and hookshots. Conflicting priorities cause problems between Kyle and his coaches, teachers, teammates and friends. And when his buddy Lukas becomes the target of homophobic hatred, Kyle is left with some difficult choices to make.
When Josh Ellroy, left-winger for the Kamloops Blazers, and his dad find more than a dozen dead cattle on the family ranch, Josh has some serious decisions to make. On one hand, the Western Hockey League playoffs are ahead, plus a chance to play in the National Hockey League. On the other hand, there's a beautiful and interesting girl who believes more prize bulls will be killed. Josh is afraid of what will happen if he gets involved. As he learns more, he's afraid of what will happen if he doesn't.
DJ is David McLean's eldest grandson, so it stands to reason that he be the one to scatter his beloved grandfather's ashes. At least that's how DJ sees it. He's always been the best at everything—sports, school, looking after his fatherless family—so climbing Kilimanjaro is just another thing he'll accomplish almost effortlessly. Or so he thinks, until he arrives in Tanzania and everything starts to go wrong. He's detained at immigration, he gets robbed, his climbing group includes an old lady and he gets stuck with the first ever female porter. Forced to go polepole (slowly), DJ finds out the hard way that youth, fitness level and drive have nothing to do with success on the mountain—or in life. DJ's adventures start in Jungle Land, part of The Seven Prequels and continue in Sleeper, part of The Seven Sequels.
Sam Campbell's school team, the Laggan Lairds, always loses. When someone suggests that their name be the Laggan Lard Butts, Sam thinks the team should change its name. What is a Laird anyway? The basketball coach agrees, and soon the whole school is involved in an election for a new team name. Sam and his friends nominate the name Lard Butts. When the basketball team starts winning games after a warm-up cheer of "Go Lard Butts!" it seems the Lard Butt campaign might actually win the election.
For as long as he can remember, Matt has wanted to play basketball. Now, as he tries out for the team at his new middle school, he realizes that the easy days of elementary ball are over and that this is a much more serious game. Dealing with a hard-driving coach, competitive teammates and his own insecurities in a new school, Matt needs to call on all his skills, both on and off the court, to make the team and keep his head above water. When he is involved, albeit unwittingly, in tagging a store with racist graffiti, Matt finds himself in more trouble than he bargained for. And when he fights back against an aggressive teammate and is threatened with suspension from the team, he learns that it is not only game-time decisions that count, but also the choices made after the crowd has gone home and the gym is silent.
Nick and Kia get excited when their school gym teacher announces a "three-on-three" basketball tournament. The two most dedicated players in grade three, they know they'll be tough to beat. But when Nick finds out they'll be up against teams in grade four and five, he is ready to throw in the towel before they start. How can shrimps like them ever hope to beat the older kids? Kia, however, is undaunted. They need a third player for their team anyway, she reasons, so why not go after the best player in the school? Marcus is bigger, tougher and in grade five. But it's not as easy as Kia thinks to convince Marcus to join their team. And there's no guarantee the older boy won't change his mind before the tournament begins. Marcus is often uneasy around them, but worse, Kia and Nick find themselves making enemies of some of the kids in the upper grade. Nick realizes it's going to take more than skill at basketball to win this tournament and make friends with Marcus without becoming targets for the older kids off the court. Book 1 in the series.
Murphy and his three friends, Danny, Jeff and Albert, are making the transition from the tribal elementary school to the community middle school. They are all trying out for the middle school's soccer team, and they're pretty confident that The Formidable Four will all make the team. But once the tryouts begin, Albert, the tribal-school superstar, plays like a second stringer. Murphy's new friend, Molly, is determined to help the boys find out what's wrong with Albert, but when they discover the truth, they realize that Albert is playing a whole different game.
Ayla loves climbing. But she prefers to climb indoors, with all her safety harnesses in place and soft mats to land on. Her climbing partner and best friend, Lissy, is much more adventurous and loves the outdoors. When Lissy starts hanging out with Carlos, the new thrill-seeking guy in town, Ayla wants to keep an eye on her and finds herself tagging along on a weekend climbing trip up Black Dog Mountain. But things go very wrong when Lissy and her dad, the only adult in the group, are badly injured high on the side of the mountain. Suddenly the risks of climbing become very real. Ayla and Carlos need to figure out how to get help, and every decision they make could have catastrophic consequences.
When it comes to cross-country running, Jake does everything right. He eats all the right foods, trains like crazy and reads articles about running in his spare time. There's nothing easy about running, but the hardest part for Jake is that, at the end of the day, Spencer Solomon always wins first place. Determined to take the lead for once, Jake continues to push himself even more. His rigorous training schedule leaves no time for friends, family, pizza or joking around. When Jake is invited to join the Diamond Running Club, he thinks he's found an opportunity to train harder. Instead, with the help of his coach, Jake begins to rediscover what he used to love about running in the first place.
Fifteen-year-old Zack finds a homemade CD with the word Famous written on it. Lonely and bored while suspended from school, he puts the CD on and loses himself in the music. Zack has sound-color synesthesia. He sees colors when he hears music, and the music on the Famous CD causes incredible patterns of color for him. Zach becomes obsessed with the girl on the CD and tries to find her. He tracks down the singer, Jolene, in a café where she works while she dreams of the big time. He convinces her to let him help her achieve her dreams, but soon discovers that in her quest for fame, Jolene has done a lot of damage. Stuff We All Get is a gentle critique of celebrity culture in North America.
Trying to land a spot on the South Side Middle School football team isn't the biggest challenge Matt Hill faces in the third installment of this popular series. Besides catching passes and dodging defenders, Matt also has to deal with the return of his estranged father following a ten-year absence. But while Matt comes to grips with forgiving his father and gets used to having him around, he must also help a teammate deal with the damage inflicted by his own overbearing and sometimes violent dad. Full of the exciting sports action that marked the first two volumes of the South Side Sports series, First and Ten is a tale of choices made and lessons learned, both on and off the field. Book 3 in the series.
Fresh from a thrilling basketball season playing for the varsity team, Matt is looking forward to a new challenge: baseball. The South Side team seems to be strong this yearif only Matt can control his fear of being hit by an errant pitch. But when Matt's friend, Jake, the team's star, falls in with the wrong crowd, the entire seasonnot to mention their long-standing friendshipseems to be on the line.
Yossi Mendelsohn works hard to help his family survive after they flee Russia to find a better life in Montreal. He sells newspapers and carries bundles from the garment factory. Yossi longs to play "le hockey" with the French boys, but he has no skates. When his father falls ill and his sister and her fianc organize a walkout at the factory, Yossi's dream of lacing on skates seems farther away than ever.
It's a new season for Nick and Kia and once again they have to prove they've got what it takes to make the Mississauga Magic rep team. There is no free ride on Coach Barkley's team. The tryouts are tough but fair and it looks like the nucleus of last years team will be together once again. But there is one new player who seems to have the skills to impress the coach. Though Ashton has great skills, he's not much of a team player. On top of that he's not even sure he wants to make the team. Unable to imagine that anyone wouldn't want to play for the Magic, Nick and Kia set out to solve this dilemma and learn some tough lessons along the way. Book 7 in the series.