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.
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 the Gladiators basketball team's nasty coach finally gets turfed midseason, things couldn't possibly get worse. The team hasn't won a game yet, and morale is at rock bottom. Sameer, who announces the games and keeps score, and Vijay, the team mascot, have their hands full keeping the team's spirits up. When they get promoted to assistant coach and manager, can they help a small, unathletic, Shakespeare-quoting drama teacher coach the team to victory, or at least to dignity? Or will the courtside drama eclipse even the school play?
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.
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.
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.
Dorf is all about skateboarding and so far that's worked out fine. But now that he's in a new city, the terrain has changed. He's no longer free to skateboard where he wishes, school is more difficult, and his passion for skateboarding garners him the nickname and reputation of a freak. With daring stunts he gains the grudging respect of local troublemakers, but he needs to tap into another kind of courage to effect real change.
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.
Nadia is playing for her local soccer team, and they have made it all the way to the national tournament - against some very determined opposition. Unfortunately, Nadia's challenges don't just come from her opponents but from her teammates as well. After their coach is injured in a suspicious accident and the threats against the team mount, it is up to Nadia and her younger brother Devin to pull the team together and take a run at the championship.