Orca Book Publishers

  • Spending Christmas holidays in the wilderness with his ex-con aunt Mag is not Evan's idea of a good time. What's worse is that everyone he meets-even his new friend Cedar-is making a big deal about a loon that is hanging around on the lake. Why should Evan care about a dumb bird? When he discovers that the loon will die without help, he realizes he does care, but rescuing the wild bird turns out to be whole lot harder, and more dangerous, than he expected.

  • Princess Jill excels at jousting, fencing, skating and long-distance spitting. Her brother, King Jack, loves baking and spending time with Little Bo Peep and her sheep. So what's a princess to do when she receives a mysterious letter from the land of Grimm? Take up ballroom dancing? Not Princess Jill. All alone, with only her wits to guide her, Jill sets off to rescue the citizens of Grimm. Along the way she makes many odd new friends and discovers the value of listening to your mother.

  • Addison Addley hates math. He hates public speaking too. Actually, he hates anything that involves work, but he only has a couple of weeks to write and memorize his grade five speech. The problem is, he can't think of a single topic. When he finally comes up with an excellent idea for a speech, it almost writes itself, but it's his poor math skills that make speech day unforgettable.

  • Robin can hardly wait for her cousin April and her Aunty Liz to come to the ranch for Christmas. When a devastating car accident sends Aunty Liz to the hospital for several months, Robin can't help but be overjoyed to learn that April will live with Robin and her family while her mother is recuperating. But April has changed, and Robin must deal with April's growing anger and resentment at being forced to leave her injured mother and her life in the city. Then Robin's little sister, Molly, disappears during a blizzard, and Robin and April's friendship faces the ultimate test.

  • Els is a courier, a girl who takes Jewish children on the back of her bike to safety on farms in Friesland. When she leaves Isaak, disguised as Jan, at a farmhouse with kind people, he is miserable until he makes friends with a beautiful black horse, Hero, a Frisian wanted by the Germans. The first time the Germans come for the horse, Isaak comes up with a plan to save him, but the second time they come, Isaak can do nothing to protect the animal he loves.

  • When Nick and Kia arrive for try-outs for the basketball team they played on the previous year, they are surprised to meet their new coach. Coach Barkley is a former college star known for his fierce desire to win. 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. Suddenly making the rep team no longer seems the sure thing that Nick and Kia expected when they came to try-outs. 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.

  • Young Emily Carr has no interest in learning to be a lady. She loves animals and the outdoors, and she is beginning to discover that what she loves most of all is drawing and painting. Will she find a way to develop her talent in the straitlaced world of nineteenth-century Victoria, British Columbia? Discovering Emily is the first of two books in a series. Book two is Emily's Dream

  • 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. 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. Once they persuade the team 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?

  • In the sequel to Discovering Emily, Emily Carr is determined to become an artist. But her parents have died, and she and her siblings are ruled by the iron-willed eldest, Dede. Dede is more concerned with decorum than with ridiculous dreams and is not averse to punishing Emily severely. In the face of such resistance, and in the conservative climate of nineteenth-century Victoria, Emily must find a way to make her dream come true.

  • Dickon wasn't happy in his old home or his old school. He hopes that in his new neighborhood he will meet children who never knew his old, hyper self, who will like him for who he is now. And he hopes for a dog of his own. Dickon's mother calls him Birdie. She feeds him milk from a teddy bear mug. She worries if he's out of her sight for a moment and she knows how filthy and vicious dogs can be. Dickon is delighted to discover that the Humane Society is right on the other side of the fence behind the new house, but only by disobeying his mother will he ever get close to a real dog.

  • In this sequel to Murphy and Mousetrap, 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.

  • After eight-year-old Kevin Mason's mother abandons him, he takes refuge in his fantasy of becoming Knuckles McGraw, a tough cowboy roaming the plains on his legendary horse, Burlington Northern. But instead of riding the range, Kevin is stuck in a foster home with a pierced and tattooed teenager named Ice and a mute girl named Breezy.
    While he waits to be claimed by the father he barely remembers or the mother who left him a good-bye note in his lunchbox, Kevin (aka Knuckles McGraw) tries to communicate with Breezy, learns to get along with his bunkhouse-mate Ice, and discovers that memories can be as deceptive as family secrets.

  • 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.

  • Every time Chance turns around, he gets in trouble. In school, he can't sit still. Reading is hard and math is harder, but anything to do with science fascinates him. When his class starts raising butterflies from caterpillars, Chance is hooked. School is suddenly fun again, but when he decides to take his caterpillar home, he learns that loving something often means letting it go.

  • After almost drowning in a swollen creek, Wes wonders if what his friend Zach says is true: Wes owes a life debt to the old lady who rescued him. It doesn't help that Wes keeps hearing his dead father's voice saying things like, "A man pays his debts, Wes," and "A man always treats a woman with respect, Wes." But how does a guy go about paying back a life debt anyway? And what if it involves a transmission tower, an ice-cream truck and a few sticks of dynamite?

  • 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?

  • In the late 1850s in and around Carson City, struggles between the Indians and the local whites are growing. During the struggles, Joselyn, a young orphan, meets Sarah Winnemucca, a Paiute girl who becomes her friend and gives her some valuable advice. When Joselyn takes that advice and escapes from the Carson City Home for Unfortunate Children, she has no idea that her boy's disguise and her love for and expertise with horses will lead her straight to the Pony Express. Joselyn becomes Jo and turns to a life that demands all her inner strength and resources. Then the meanest man on the route learns her secret and uses it to extract a promise that kept or broken could mean death.

  • 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.

  • Eleven-year-old Jake Reynolds wants to save seal pups from the talons of bald eagles, protect his little sister Sierra and confront the wolf he is sure stalks Hidalgo Island. But his best friend Emily calls him a chicken, comforts Sierra when she falls and doesn't believe the wolf exists. Even as Jake hears howling in the night, part of him hopes Emily is right; he may dream of being a hero, but he is terrified by the thought of running into a wolf. When Jake leads Emily into the woods in search of adventure, he finds more than he bargained for—and discovers things about himself that he never knew existed.

  • In the final months of World War II, ten-year-old Peggy shelters with her mother and baby brother in a London butcher's shop during an air raid. They survive, but their home and everything in it are lost, including Peggyís most treasured possession, a biscuit tin of letters from her father. Their lives change dramatically and Peggy makes friends with a boy named Spud who has a passion for scavenging bombsites, leading to more than one surprising discovery.

  • Addison's mother wants to sell their comfortable old house and move into a townhouse in a new development across town#&8212;a shoe box near a shoe factory, Addison calls it. As usual, Addison's brain goes into overdrive as he tries to solve two problems: first he must get his mother to see their old house in a new light, and then he must figure out who is responsible for a rash of neighborhood break-ins that make his mother feel unsafe. With the help of his friend Sam, he puts his own unique spin on optical illusions (and home decor) and ends up surprising everyone, even himself.

  • Life is hard enough for Tansy with her depressed mom away indefinitely and her dad making a mess of things at home. But then Dad sends her down the hall to a wrinkly old babysitter named Miss Stella, who Tansy hates on sight. Miss Stella has a unique perspective on life, to say the least, but with the help of her best friend Parveen, Tansy gradually learns to manage all the changes in her life and make unexpected new friends in the process.

  • Belle, an 11-year-old Metis girl, and Sarah both want the coveted job of church bell ringer. An embroidery contest is held to award the position, and Sarah cheats. Before Belle can expose her, the two are caught up in the advancing forces of General Middleton and his troops as they surround Batoche in the 1885 Riel Rebellion. The church bell disappeared that day and remains missing to this day.

  • Martha knows she is adopted, but she's well-loved and popular, at least until her mother gets pregnant and she feels her parents' attention start to shift. Upset and confused, Martha lashes out at—and loses—her friends. She also makes no secret about her annoyance at being forced to do a school project about sturgeon with Chance, a difficult boy whose foster parents are family friends. To add insult to injury, Martha's birth mother announces that she is getting married and moving away. Now Martha isn't number one in anybody's life. When her mom goes into labor prematurely, Martha realizes that she needs to figure out a way to be a better friend and daughter, and a great sister.

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