Even though he's secretly terrified of deep water, and all the scary things that swim below, Tate wants to shake his boring reputation, and he agrees to travel with his class up the Amazon River to help build a village school. He has his fingers and toes crossed that he won't see any giant snakes or hungry piranhas.
But there are even scarier things than anacondas lurking in the jungles of South America, and Tate soon learns of the legend of El Tunchi, a vengeful spirit that terrorizes those who harm the rainforest. When creepy things start happening and Tate keeps hearing El Tunchi's haunting whistle, he's sure the group must have angered someone. Or something. He and his friends need to figure out a way to make amends and get out of the jungle alive.
Adina has always wanted to be a part of the annual fashion show at her school for the arts. Now that she's finally in the ninth grade, she and her friends can audition. She knows their act could be perfect. They've got great music, gorgeous costumes and wicked dance moves. But Willow is being her usual flaky self, and Sandra's getting touchy. Maybe even a bit mean. Luckily, Seth remains steady and reliable. Their biggest competition is the annoyingly perfect Prima Donnas, who are doing everything they can to undermine Adina and her friends.
Adina is used to working hard at everything she does, including her violin, art, drama and singing classes. But her friends are getting sick of her ordering them around. They just don't get what a huge deal this is. When one of the Prima Donnas gets injured during their audition, minutes after Sandra storms off in a huff, the two groups realize that in order to succeed, they may have to work together.
When David's family moves from northern Ontario to Miami, Florida, it takes him less than a day to discover how out of place he is in his new neighborhood. He joins his school's track team, hoping to make new friends, but soon he is pulled into a school-wide web of secrecy and danger. And the one person who can help him keeps running away.
When Nat, her best friend Jess and singing-star wannabe Harper sing together, their harmonies bring down the house. For Nat, the experience sparks a driving new desire to perform. But when the girls form a trio and enter a contest for a chance to play at the Tall Grass Music Festival, Nat finds that harmony—musical and otherwise—is hard to maintain. Her bandmates almost never agree, her new boyfriend starts behaving more like a non-boyfriend, and the trio's famous-musician mentor doesn't even like the way Nat breathes. Every day, Nat's dream of performing at Tall Grass seems farther away, and she questions whether she has what it takes to get there.
Everything stops making sense for extreme surfer Kevin Taylor after his parents die in a plane crash. When Kevin disappears, leaving only a cryptic note, his best friends Luca and Esme have no choice but to try and find him. Their journey takes them to the coast of Panama, where they must confront unfriendly locals, a surfer who seems bent on destroying them, and monster waves. As their hope dwindles and time runs out, the mystery of what really happened to Kevin's parents deepens, and Luca and Esme begin to wonder if they are in over their heads.
Maddy doesn't find it easy adjusting to grade nine. The friendships and loyalties she took for granted in middle school are being challenged, and there's so much more competition on her track team now.
When Maddy stumbles across a friend being bullied behind the school after a track practice, she suspects something nasty is going on. So when Coach announces one of the team members has been robbed, she realizes the two incidents must be connected. Everyone on the track and field team is under suspicion. How can the team function with so much uneasiness among its members? Maddy realizes the only way to bring the team together again is to make some changes.
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.
Lindy has been working hard cleaning and doing odd jobs around the neighborhood to earn money for a trip to the Arctic. When Mrs. Naulty, an elderly client, mistakenly pays her a huge amount of money, Lindy keeps it to pay the early-bird rate for her trip. It's only when a schoolmate learns what she did and starts blackmailing her that Lindy starts to suffer for her actions.
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?
Leni has lived in so many different places in the last few years that she's not surprised when her mom wakes her in the middle of the night and tells her to pack up her things. The reason for this move? Her mom tells her they have won the lottery, and they have to go underground. Leni is still not surprised when they end up in a filthy motel. But when Leni makes a new friend and tries to explain their lifestyle, she begins to understand just how messed-up her life has become.
Sam and Annabel are pleased when they are selected to take a cruise to the Arctic. And they are thrilled when they learn that the cruise will take them past a site connected to the most famous mystery in Arctic history: the Franklin Expedition. But things on the cruise are not what they seem. When Sam and Annabel make a startling discovery on a small island close to where archaeologists are diving on the wreck of the Erebus, one of the Franklin's ships, they are confronted by an old enemy. Isolated and outnumbered, how can they possibly save the priceless artifact that may hold the answer to the Franklin mystery?
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.
Eric and his buddies have left behind their all boys school to attend high school with girls. Eager to find his place in this exciting new world, Eric joins the student life committee, unaware that he is expected to enforce the school's strict dress code. The dress code is particularly harsh on the girls he is keen to get to know. Eric finds this awkward, but it's nothing compared to the position he finds himself in when the whole school revolts.
Randi wants to be an actress and is excited about practicing her craft in drama class. So she is devastated to learn the program has been cut. When her friends put together a successful proposal to have drama class taught as an extracurricular activity, Randi is thrilled. Until the reality sinks in. Extracurriculars are scheduled after school, and after school Randi is expected to take care of her special-needs brother. Can Randi find a way to make it all work out?
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.
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 it's up to Jamal and his teammates to take back their team and show what they're made of.
Fourteen-year-old Taz knows one thing for sure: she's a perfect disaster in the kitchen. Every time she tries to cook, chaos ensues. After fires, toxins and more than one minor injury, Taz will be happy if she makes it through her food-science class in one piece. But when the class enters a competitive race for a coveted program and Taz is put in a group that expects to win, the pressure is on. As the competition heats up, Taz is desperate to hold her own and not let her team down.
Thirteen-year-old Nate needs a break from looking after his newly disabled mom. One day when his mom thinks he's at a cross-country meet, he goes to the mall with a friend he's forbidden to have contact with. At the skate shop he sees a new board he can't afford but has to have, and Nate gets talked into running a scam. It turns out Nate looks a lot like a teen TV star filming in the area. So he and his buddy get girls to pay cash to be extras on set. It's all fine until Nate meets a girl he really likes. Nate knows he has to tell her the truth, but he's not sure he has what it takes to come clean.
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.
Charlotte Summers is sure that summer camp is going to be a disaster. And she's right. But it's not as disastrous for her as it is for her counselor, Marla. Marla has no control over the girls in her charge. The control is held by the cabin's mean girl. Charlotte realizes that she could tip the balance of power and unseat the bully, but does she have the courage to go for it?
Daniel Abel is surprised when, instead of being punished for "pantsing" another eighth-grader, he is invited to become an ambassador of Mountview High at the school's upcoming open house. What he doesn't realize is that he is part of a social experiment on bullying being conducted by the local university.
He is a little nervous to learn he will be working with Jeff Kover, a tenth-grader with a reputation for being the biggest bully in the school. Daniel has never thought of himself as a bully. He just likes kidding around. But hanging out with Jeff will change Daniel's perspective on bullying and force him to examine his own behavior.
Jane has no interest in boys. Her mom, Sherry, has brought home so many creeps over the years that Jane has decided to focus for the next five years on her studies. Her best friend, the boy-crazy Kiara, is obsessed with online quizzes and convinces Jane to help her create a questionnaire that will determine whether muscular Liam or Omar with the cute eyes is her true soul mate. Their friendship is tested when the answers come back with a surprising third option, the quiet and awkward Javier. Jane fails to reveal the results, which leads to some heated words being exchanged and long-held resentments (and possible secret crushes) being revealed. One of the besties will have to swallow her pride to make the first move and try to repair the damage.