Fifteen-year-old Kyle Evans has been a jock for years—a triple threat basketball player who can dribble, pass or shoot with considerable skill. But once he decides to try out for the school musical production at Sainsbury High, Kyle finds there is much more to life than hightops and hookshots. Conflicting priorities cause problems between Kyle and his coaches, teachers, teammates and friends. And when his buddy Lukas becomes the target of homophobic hatred, Kyle is left with some difficult choices to make.
Allegra thinks being at a performing-arts high school will change her life and make her a better dancer. But high school is still high school, complete with cliques, competition and cruelty. Allegra's refuge comes in the form of a class she doesn't want to take—music theory, taught by a very young, very attractive male teacher. Soon all Allegra can think about is music composition—and Mr. Rochelli. But has she misunderstood his attention, or is he really her soul mate?
When Renata is chosen to play the lead role in the school musical, students who used to ignore her start saying hello and congratulating her in the hall. She is happy until it becomes evident that Karin, a wealthy girl who expected to get the lead role, will go to great lengths to ruin Renata's reputation.
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 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.
Briar has a vision for the one-act play she's been chosen to direct at her performing arts high school. She's going to create a masterpiece. If only everyone involved in the production shared her vision. Her leading lady is gifted but troubled, her leading man has a crush on the leading lady, her stage manager doesn't have a clue, and her best friend, who wrote the play, is worried that Briar's production is cursed. As Briar struggles to motivate her cast and crew, she learns some important truths about the fine art of directing—and about herself.
Angie lives in an old car with her brother and mother. Homeless after their father left to find work, the family struggles to stay together and live as normally as possible. It is difficult though. Between avoiding the police and finding new places to park each night, it is a constant struggle. When Angie discovers slam poetry, she finds a new way to express herself and find meaning and comfort in a confusing world.
Lila has always wanted a career in belly dance, so she is thrilled when she is invited to join Dana Sajala's competitive and prestigious studio. But dancing at the new studio isn't quite what she expected. Dana Sajala is a tough teacher, and Lila finds the constant criticism stressful. On top of that, Lila misses the dancers from her old troupe, and a rift is developing between her and her best friend, Angela, who is not altogether sympathetic to Lila's struggles. Lila has always loved belly dance—the music, the costumes, the choreography—but when she realizes that none of it is as much fun as it used to be, she starts to question whether she has made the right choice.
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?
At fifteen, Will already knows he wants to spend his life playing classical violin. And when he is invited to take part in a summer program for young musicians, he realizes it is a chance to make his dream a reality. But years of playing only for Mr. Jorgensen, his elderly neighbor and mentor, haven't prepared Will for what will happen when he steps onto the stage. He never expected the self-doubt that takes over his thoughts, or the fear of failure that makes his hands shake and his heart race. What happens when the one thing you need to achieve your dreams is something you find utterly terrifying?
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?
Ellie is used to getting leading roles in her small-town school's musicals, but her place at center stage disappears when her dad becomes the host of a breakfast TV show and they have to move to the big city. When Ellie auditions for—and lands—a spot with the Youth Works Theater Company, she comes up against a tight-knit group of talented, experienced and competitive triple-threat performers. Not only does she not get a lead, but she has to share a role with Marissa, a company veteran who seems determined to do all she can to outshine Ellie. Out of her depth and far from all that she's known, Ellie wonders just what she has to do to stop feeling upstaged by everyone around her.
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?
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?
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.
Brielle and Tawni have played cello side by side in orchestras since they were nine years old. Brielle has always played second chair to Tawni's first, and she's been happy with that arrangement.
When Tawni is injured, Brielle suddenly finds herself principal cellist. Not only does that mean she'll be thrust into the spotlight, but it also means she is now leader of the cello section. Brielle is terrified. Is she good enough? Will the other musicians accept her? What if she screws up?
Despite her fears, Brielle rises to the occasion. Her cello skills, and her leadership skills, improve as she grows into her new role. But just as Brielle is beginning to feel confident, Tawni returns. And she wants her job back. If Brielle steps down now, she'll lose her place in the spotlight. If she doesn't, her friendship could be in jeopardy.
When Cassie comes to Vancouver from Australia for an intensive summer program at a prestigious ballet school, she finds it hard to fit in. A clique of girls who have been at the school a long time don't want the newcomers to get any attention. At first Cassie tries to go along to get along, but when she realizes that some of the visiting summer students are being bullied and threatened, and that she herself is being sabotaged, she finally speaks out—and finds out how far some girls will go to succeed.
Neil plays guitar with his family's band, the Family McClintock, even though he can't stand the Celtic music they play, he doesn't dance, he hates the outfits, and every single performance reminds him that he isn't as talented as the rest of the family.
When his buddy Bert convinces him to form a rock band and enter a local talent show, Neil's playing improves and everyone notices, including a girl who shares his musical interests. He starts to think that all those years of practice might come in handy after all. But it all comes to a head when Neil has to choose between an important gig with the family band and the talent show. He's only sure of one thing: whatever he decides to do, he's going to be letting someone down.
When Meg's summer ballet program is canceled and her ballet teacher suggests she attend Camp Dance to learn new dance styles, Meg is devastated. Worse still, her teacher thinks she lacks stage presence and needs to connect more with her audience. At camp, Meg struggles to learn contemporary dance. A girl named Logan, who is jealous of Meg's ballet technique and her friendship with Nio, a cute contemporary dancer, makes Meg's life even more difficult. When Meg, Nio and Logan have to work together to create a piece for the final show, arguments threaten to ruin their dance. Unless they are able to overcome their differences, Meg's time at Camp Dance will have been a disaster from start to finish.
Gerri waits outside all night to audition for Big Time, her favorite TV singing competition. She believes she has a shot at success, but when she's insulted by one of the judges and kicked out of the competition, she thinks she'll probably never sing again. After a teacher at her school asks her to join a choral club, Gerri reluctantly gets involved. Even though she can't read music and she doesn't know the other kids, she finds herself enjoying the group and learning a lot about music. A cute guy she met at the Big Time auditions joins the group, and when they perform their unique mashups at an open-mic night, Gerri realizes there's more than one way to be a successful-and happy-singer!
When Ally's mom dies, Ally is left with no family, no friends and no future. Put into foster care at the age of fifteen, she has less than $200 to her name and nothing left to lose. When Ally meets Tate, a busking fire breather, she starts to see a new life for herself as a street performer. Ally decides to run away from her foster home, but her problems follow her. Hiding her age, sleeping on the streets and avoiding fights with other buskers, Ally discovers that there's more to life as a fire-breathing busker than not getting burned.
Lily is discovered by a big-name director when she's auditioning for a role in a toothpaste commercial. He wants her for his new movie, which is great except for the fact that it's shooting in Los Angeles and Lily lives in Vancouver. With the help of her Chinese grandmother, she convinces her parents to let her go to LA with her agent as a chaperone. But when she gets there, she finds out that if she wants to be more than the flavor of the week, she's going to have to pay a price that may be way too high.
The Dunces-Josh, Magnolia, Wang and Wilmot-are back, and this time they're going up against a formidable foe: Principal Hale, who has canceled their school's drama and music program just when Wilmot needs it most. He has a guitar (given to him by a teen named Headcase), but no teacher and nowhere to practice (his dad hates rock 'n' roll). The Dunces' plan to convince Principal Hale to reinstate the program involves Josh's reluctant participation in a hockey team, Magnolia's enthusiastic role-playing and Wang's disillusionment with a suspicious character named Hui Bing (aka Larry). But can the Dunces really rock, even when they rebrand themselves as Cousin Willy and the Wang Dang Doodles?