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.
Luc Waldon always figured he knew what his passion was: football. He lives it, he breathes it and he thinks he has what it takes to go all the way to the NFL. So when his football coach orders him to sign up for contemporary-dance classes to improve his game, Luc's less than thrilled. When he realizes that dance might actually be his true passion, he faces a tough decision. Is he willing to leave behind the field and a real shot at professional sports, and disappoint his parents, his coach and his teammates, in order to pursue a new dream?
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.
From the moment Simon Whitfield burst onto the world stage at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games as triathlon's first Olympic champion, his winning personality and stellar athletic abilities have inspired young people around the globe. In Simon Says Gold, Simon describes his personal journey to Olympic glory as he recounts not only that glorious day in Sydney, but also the anguish of failing to repeat as Olympic champion in Athens in 2004, and his dramatic comeback at the 2008 Beijing Games, when his exhilarating race to a silver medal enthralled millions of fans around the world. Simon's stories of the highs and lows of his running career will captivate readers young and old, but his real message that the simple pursuit of excellence is its own reward will also inspire and motivate. Not everyone can be an Olympian. Simon Whitfield believes that true greatness is in performing to the best of one's ability. The reward is in the effort, not the outcome.
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.
It's summertime and hoops season is over, but that doesn't keep Nick and Kia off the court. One very hot day they head to the rec center for a swim but end up on the outdoor courts that are usually dominated by older players. Their enjoyment of the court is short-lived, however, when three teens show up and kick the kids and their ball off the court. Nick and Kia don't take well to being bullied, but there's nothing they can do about it. At least not until they run into Jerome "Junk Yard Dog" Williams at a mall promotional event, and Kia enlists the NBA star's help in proving that she and Nick do indeed belong on the same court as the older players. Eric Walters has teamed up with NBA fan-favorite and former Toronto Raptor and current New York Knick Jerome "Junk Yard Dog" Williams for the eighth installment of this best-selling basketball series. Jerome's royalties will help support the JYD Project, which is run by his brother, Johnnie Williams. The JYD Project's goal is to reach more than half a million Canadian and American students over a five-year period with their inspirational message. Book 8 in the series.
Nick, Kia and their Mississauga Magic teammates are on the road, heading off to an elite hoop tournament in the Midwest. Feeling outmatched by many of the high profile teams, the kids are still looking forward to a good time. However, Coach Barkley, who played college ball in the area and is still regarded as a hero, has other ideas. As usual, nothing but winning will be good enough for Coach. As the tournament progresses, the Magic players learn to believe in themselves and come to realize that they can hold their own against the opposing teams. And then, just as the team seems to have a shot at making the finals, the eligibility of one of their players is questioned and they face disqualification. Will the team spirit the road trip has instilled be strong enough to get the kids over this hurdle? Book 5 in the series.
Jaz lives in the small northern community of Destiny and is a new member of the Junior Canadian Rangers. Her divorced parents argue a lot, and Jaz hopes if she wins a dog-mushing derby, they will be so proud of her they will stop arguing. But the derby would be a lot more fun if she wasn't paired with Colly, an older boy who is a more experienced JCR. On the derby trail all Jaz's newfound skills, her will to survive and her ability to get along with Colly, are put to a life-and-death test.
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.
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.
When Nick and his pals suddenly find themselves short a man for the NBA-sponsored three-on-three tournament they plan to enter during the summer holidays, the solution seems simple enough. Nick, Kia and Mark are the key players on the team, so the fourth, though mandatory according to the rules, doesn't really have to be good at the game. A surprise visit from Nick's mother's cousin brings Ned, who is exactly Nick's age but not exactly an athlete, into the picture and onto the team. Nick and Ned, though related, are about as different as two boys born on the same day can be. And they don't get along. Nick cares mostly about sports and basketball is his passion. Ned is crazy about bugs and lives out West in a national park, three hours' drive from the nearest basketball court. The other three teammates figure that as long as they don't actually have to use Ned in a game they will be fine. Then Mark sprains his ankle and can't play in the tournament. Suddenly Nick and Kia must find a way to make Ned an integral part of the team. This turns out to be no small task!
In the tenth installment of the best-selling Eric Walters basketball series, Nick, Kia and their teammates embark on a letter writing campaign to persuade the Toronto Raptors community relations department to send one or more of the players to visit Clark Boulevard Elementary School. Unfortunately they are too late in applying and the team's school program has already been set for the year. But Nick and Kia do not give up easily, and their efforts become increasingly dramatic until Nick finally comes up with an idea that the team will be unable to ignore. Book 10 in the series
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
Twelve-year-old Jess and her friends have been playing hockey with the boys in Fort Desperation, Northwest Territories, since they were six years old. They'd like to start a girls' team in their community, but is tiny Fort Desperation ready for it? Somebody is trying to scare them off through acts of vandalism. Not only do Jess and her friends have to organize a team, find a coach and learn to play together, they have to unmask the Hockey Vandal. Can they do it before the Vandal destroys their team's hopes?
When Nick and Kia are invited to former Toronto Raptor Jerome "Junk Yard Dog" Williams' basketball camp in Washington, DC, they quickly discover that this is no ordinary summer hoop camp. This is a basketball boot camp that focuses on discipline and hard work. Jerome and Johnnie's father, "Sergeant Push-up" to the campers, is the no-nonsense camp director. When scrimmages begin, Nick and Kia fall victim to the antics of their teammate Jamal, a talented but troubled player who tries to win games on his own. Only after some hard lessons-and some tough losses-do the three youngsters learn that it takes everyone on the team to accomplish real success. For the ninth installment of this best-selling series, Eric Walters has teamed up with retired NBA star Jerome Williams and his brother Johnnie Williams III to write another exciting chapter in the lives of Nick and Kia. Although Boot Camp is fiction, there is a real JYD Basketball Boot Camp in Washington each summer. The Williams' royalties will go to support the JYD Project, which offers a variety of community outreach programs for youth in Canada and the United States.
Josh knows he's riding recklessly when he knocks down the old man he suspects is the hermit of Lumberman Creek. But he is shocked when the hermit walks into the forest with his bike after the accident. Being without his beloved bike for a week motivates Josh to hike into the woods and confront the crazy old man. The hermit, Jonathan, has fixed Josh's bike, and Josh learns that he has more in common with the old man than he ever imagined. When Jonathan needs help, Josh has to respect the old man's choices in order to save his life.