Rooster Cobb is in trouble--with his school, with his mother, with his girlfriend. He smokes too much and he hates his stepfather. In fact, he might not graduate from high school. But he just doesn't seem to care. That is until the guidance counselor and the principal come up with a plan to get Rooster through grade twelve, out of their lives forever and possibly on the right track with his life. The last thing Rooster wants to do is coach The Strikers, a bowling team of special-needs adults, especially when he finds out he's going to be mentored by the most unpopular girl in school, the principal's daughter, Elma. When he starts to take coaching seriously, his friends make fun of him, and his girlfriend accuses him of taking the easy way out. But when one of The Strikers dies unexpectedly, Rooster discovers there are as many ways to be a hero as there are ways to mess up.
Baron dreams of being like his favorite hard-boiled detectives: tough, sexy and in control. In reality he's anything but, as his older sister, Kitty, never fails to point out. When a new client presents herself at their backyard detective agency, Baron and his best friend, Myles, are suddenly at odds. Will Wilson, new in town and lonely, choose Baron or Myles -- or neither? What happened to her sister's blue whale? And her sister? But the biggest mystery of all is whether Baron will ever tell Wilson how he feels.
Rufus and his sister Alexa hate each other at the best of times. When Rufus's friend Phil manages to hypnotize Alexa, Rufus is ready to enjoy the power. They begin by ordering Alexa to be kind to her parents and Phil. The plan backfires when Alexa sweetly suggests canceling an expensive family vacation in favor of a week at home playing board games. Then Alexa turns on the charm with Phil and suddenly Rufus has to deal with a lovesick amateur hypnotist. Rufus is certain it can't get any stranger until Alexa, still in her hypnotic state, is kind to the brother she's always hated and Rufus is more confused than he's ever been.