• 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?

  • Chick is a popular fourteen-year-old who is essentially on this earth to live up to his father's impossible expectations—or, at least, that's how he feels. This pressure is a grinding source of anxiety for him, which he copes with by making lists. He itemizes every aspect of his life, from his daily routine to the things that make him nervous. But as the pressure of school and his budding romance with his debating teammate Audrey builds, his compulsion starts to feel impossible to control—or conceal.

  • Dylan is back, and this time he is making a movie, The Rise of the Zombie Scarecrows, with his best friend, Cory, and his girlfriend, Monica. The film is for school credit, and their plan is to film on Halloween. Everything is falling into place until Dylan and Monica encounter a zombie scarecrow that causes Mr. Dalton, a friend of Dylan's grandmother, to have a heart attack. Dylan and Monica learn that a couple of zombie scarecrows are pranking a local neighborhood. The police shut down Dylan's project until the pranksters are caught. But Dylan is determined to see his film through to completion, no matter what the cost.

  • The last thing Chaz wants is to spend his summer working on his father's Eye, a Ferris wheel with glass-bottomed gondolas set up to view scenic North Vancouver. For one thing, Chaz would prefer to pursue his own passion: dance in the style of the late, great Gene Kelly. More important, Chaz suffers from vertigo, and even the thought of the Eye makes him want to lose his lunch. But when a crowd of angry protestors and a mysterious vandal threaten his father's dream, and the family's livelihood, Chaz is forced to overcome his own fears to help out.

  • When ten-year-old Cyrus sees a For Sale sign plunged into his front lawn, it's a complete and utter disaster. Usually, his younger brother, Rudy, is the scaredy-cat, but for the first time in his life, Cyrus is terrified. He's lived at 637 Petunia Boulevard since he came to live with his adoptive mom and dad at two months old. Won't he go hurtling into outer space without these four familiar walls to hold him in? Luckily, Cyrus has a few sneaky tricks up his sleeve to stop this moving business before it even gets started.

  • Ripple Effect

    Sylvia Taekema

    Best friends Dana and Janelle had big plans for grade six. Run on the cross-country team together. Try out for volleyball. They'd even planned to be partners for the class geography project. Neither girl could have known that a biking accident would land Janelle in the hospital all summer long. Dana is convinced that everything will go back to normal once school starts. But Queen Bee Julia has co-opted her friend, and Janelle's crutches make running or playing volleyball impossible. Over time, the girls begin to act more and more like strangers. As Dana struggles to come to terms with her feelings of guilt, anger and loneliness, she wonders if there's anything left of her old friendship that's salvageable. Can she find her way back to her best friend?

  • It's the start of a new season for Harrington High's improv team—and Chloe is determined that this will be the year they make it all the way to the top. Her teammates (who also happen to be her closest friends) are a talented bunch, and she knows they can do it. They have to. Because getting to nationals is Chloe's best chance to prove—to her parents, to the improv scouts and, most of all, to herself—that she has what it takes to succeed. Chloe is doing everything she can to help her teammates perform better. So why are they all mad at her?

  • On a dare from his girlfriend's brother, Javvan steals a neighbor's car. Now he's got a criminal record and a bigger problem: get a job or violate his parole. Endless interviews later and no one will hire him because of his criminal record. Whatever happened to a second chance? Finally, he gets a gig with a contractor named Kevin, and Javvan figures his life is on an upswing. Too bad Kevin's a thief and he's given Javvan one choice. Help him steal, or he'll make sure Javvan ends up back in jail.

  • Jack's a star player on an elite soccer team along with his brother, Alex. The Lancers are on top of the league, even favored to win the National Championship. But the game's about to change. A slick bookie wins Jack's friendship and introduces him to illegal betting. Before long, Jack is hooked on the adrenaline rush, and early wins convince him that gambling could make him rich. Meanwhile, an ever-widening rift is forming between the two brothers. Suddenly, Jack's "system" fails and his luck runs out. How could a few losses pile up to a gut-kicking ten grand? When he can't pay, the bookie gives Jack one way out—throw the National Championship. But can he betray his brother, his team and himself?

  • Darren Dirkowitz thought his life was over when his tippity-top-secret alter ego, Dirk Daring, Secret Agent, was outed to the entire Preston Middle School student body. If only he'd been so lucky. Now the Wolf Lords-a gang of teen thugs bent on wringing every last penny out of Preston students-are breathing down his neck. There's only one solution: Dirk Daring must embark on his most daring mission yet. A mission so audacious, so cunning, so doggone crazy, that if it succeeds, the Wolf Lords will wind up begging for mercy. But first, Darren must bring his own disobedient "associates" to heel.
    Let Sleeping Dogs Lie is the sequel to the runaway bestseller Dirk Daring, Secret Agent.

  • Laughter is fifteen-year-old Paige Larsson's currency in life. It takes the sting out of life's tough stuff. It eases the pain of nasty comments, agonizing moments in gym class and awkward pauses at parties. She likes it even more when others laugh with her, so she's become a YouTube comedy vlogger.
    Now Paige is about to step out of her comfort zone and compete-live and onstage-in the prestigious International Teens in Comedy festival. Winning will give her the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in comedy. It'll also mean $10,000 for her school's performing-arts department. But Paige has always used her humor to mask the pain of a disability, and in the world of stand-up comedy, that won't cut it anymore.

  • Robin's got everything it takes to be a principal dancer: the body, the feet, the strength and the passion. But his devil-may-care attitude plays havoc with discipline at the Premier Dance School. One more prank may be one too many. That's why everyone is shocked when he's the only student dancer picked to understudy with the company, even though the choice makes sense-Robin is cast as Puck, the annoying trickster fairy in A Midsummer's Night Dream. Shock turns to horror when the principal dancer is injured and Robin has to perform instead. The other dancers don't think he can pull it off, and even Robin wonders if it's too much too soon.
    Will his big break kill his career before it even starts?

  • Just when Isabelle thinks her life can't get any worse, something happens to her at school that makes her wonder how she can continue to look after her younger siblings, Evan and Maisie, work at the local mini-mart and deal with her alcoholic mother. It's more than any sixteen-year-old should have to bear, but Isabelle can't think of a way out that won't hurt her brother and sister.
    When Isabelle punches a girl at school, only one teacher sees past Isabelle's aggressive behavior. Challenged to participate in a group writing project, Isabelle tentatively connects with a boy named Will and discovers an interest in (and talent for) the only kind of drama she can control-the kind that happens on the page.

  • Basketball-crazy Jake Burnett is thrilled to be leaving home to attend prestigious Centerville Prep. It's an opportunity to pursue his hoop dreams at the highest level. But things aren't quite as advertised at his new school, and Jake soon finds himself struggling both on and off the court. At first, Jake is determined to play harder and ignore the warning signs. Until he discovers that his new head coach is a scam artist, putting kids at risk for his own gain. Now Jake has a difficult choice to make—advance his basketball career or do the right thing.

  • Tabitha is thrilled to be attending a summer forensics camp, even if she has to go with her sort-of friend Mason. Soon she is learning to dust for fingerprints, photograph a crime scene and take footprint impressions. Even though the camp instructors have set up a "crime" for the kids to solve, Tabitha longs to use her newfound skills to solve a real-life mystery. She's pretty sure a dognapping ring is active in her Montreal neighborhood, and when her beloved dog, Roxie, is stolen, she convinces her forensics "team" to help her find Roxie and nab the 'nappers.

  • Matt, a white quarterback from Montreal, Quebec, flies to France (without his parents' permission) to play football and escape family pressure. Freeman, a black football player from San Antonio, Texas, is in Paris on a school trip when he hears about a team playing American football in a rough, low-income suburb called Villeneuve-La-Grande. Matt and Free join the Diables Rouges and make friends with the other players, who come from many different ethnic groups. Racial tension erupts into riots in Villeneuve when some of their Muslim teammates get in trouble with the police, and Matt and Free have to decide whether to get involved and face the very real risk of arrest and violence.

  • 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?

  • Thirteen-year-old Chris and his family are setting up a bungee jump in his backyard. It's a real large-scale bungee jump off a bridge that connects his backyard to a small island owned by his family. Not only is it going to be the coolest attraction around, but it also provides Chris with an opportunity to watch a real engineer in action. Chris would be excited about it if things didn't keep going wrong. The rumors of hauntings on the island, once the site of a hospital for children with leprosy, are getting out of control. And there are mysterious mishaps on the bridge. Chris worries that all of these problems will keep customers away. And if the bungee jump isn't a success, his family will lose everything.

  • Hailey McEwan has many interests-soccer, field hockey, animation. She'd probably never have started singing if her best friend, Crissy, hadn't persuaded her to take singing lessons and join her choir. No one had any idea that Hailey would be such a natural, least of all Hailey herself. A shared love of music-from pop to opera-has been a big part of the girls' friendship, but when the two face off in a competition for a role in a production of The Marriage of Figaro, their closeness turns into a bitter rivalry. Hailey will have to make a tough decision. Is opera as important to her as it is to Crissy? And is landing a role worth losing her best friend?

  • Nathan has always loved animals and longs for a pet. When a baby squirrel shows up at Nathan's door, he wonders what could have happened to its mother. It isn't long before his family discovers six more orphaned baby squirrels in need of food and shelter. With help from Batcat, a neighborhood cat who is fed by many but owned by no one, Nathan learns to care for the squirrels. But all babies must leave the nest eventually. Will Nathan finally find a pet to call his own?

  • On his way to baseball practice, Zeke lines up for Vancouver's newest thrill ride: Death Drop, an elevator that falls faster than gravity. The theme of the ride is based on the story of Persephone, who tumbled into the underworld. Zeke tumbles into a frightening situation himself after he discovers a little girl who is lost. He takes her to the Death Drop manager's office. But later, when he tries to find out what happened with her, the ride's staff say they never saw her! To find the missing girl, Zeke must navigate a devilish plot that includes Dante Gabriel Rossetti's famous painting Proserpine, a fiery drop into flames, and an angry coach.

  • Elle has come to Nashville to become a star. She has what it takes, but her agent and all the label executives want to change everything about her-her hair, her body, her clothes and, most important, her music. So Elle becomes a blond, sings about cookin' for her man and wears tiny shorts and revealing tank tops. Then a chance meeting with an established female songwriter makes Elle realize that she's paying too high a price for success.
    Billboard Express continues the story that began in Rock the Boat by Sigmund Brouwer.

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