Orca Book Publishers

  • Dylan O'Connor is in trouble again. While riding his bike home after dark, he has a run-in with a truck but doesn't give it a second thought until police show up at his door the next day. CCTV cameras put Dylan at the scene of a crime, and when the police question him, Dylan realizes he was an inadvertent witness. But he doesn't tell them the driver of the truck was Jeff Walker, a nasty piece of work. Dylan knows it's in his best interests to keep his mouth shut. Then he starts getting stalked by Jeff's weirdo sidekick, Eliot Barnes, a classmate of Dylan's. Is Eliot trying to protect Dylan, or is he making sure he stays silent?
    This is the fourth story featuring Dylan O'Connor after The Snowball Effect, Caught in the Act, and Rise of the Zombie Scarecrows.

  • Safira doesn't believe in ghosts, but the girl in her cabin at camp was not a living person, so what was she? Her friend Trinity is convinced Safira's seen a ghost and sets out to discover who the ghost girl is. Safira is too busy dealing with her family to help solve the mystery. Safira has never gotten along with her sister, Mya, and now that Mya's pending marriage dominates the family there seems to be no hope for friendship between them. But when Trinity discovers the death of a girl named Myra, Safira starts to wonder if the ghost-girl has an important message about her own sister.

  • It's hard enough for Eve to adjust to a new high school without the extra weight she's gained over the summer. Her best friend is ashamed to hang out with her, and she's become the focus of a schoolmate's cruelty. Determined not to be "that pathetic fat girl" at school, Eve struggles with a diet and forces herself to join a mentoring program. The diet only makes her food obsessed, and she feels she is failing as a mentor. How can a lonely fat girl gain the confidence she needs to succeed?

  • When Shawn and Daniel witness a gang beating behind the local mall they flee the scene, terrified that they've been seen. They recognize one of the attackers as a locally infamous gang member. When they learn that the kid who was attacked is in critical condition, Shawn wants to go to the police, but Daniel convinces him that they are in more danger if they speak up. The threats they receive from other members of the gang reinforce the boys' fears. When the gang attacks Daniel, Shawn has to put his own safety at risk to help his friend.

  • Trevor, Nick and Robyn are ready to solve another mystery. When bobsledder Josh Gantz is accused of deliberately injuring a fellow competitor, he runs the risk of being thrown out of the sport—right before the World Cup. Courtney Gantz asks Trevor, Nick and Robyn to help clear her brother's name. Can they find out who framed Josh? What is the meaning of the strange coded messages they keep finding around Olympic Park? Who eats orange bananas, anyway? The kids must unearth the clues in a race against time, before Josh's championship dreams end up on ice.

  • Fifteen-year-old Zack finds a home made CD with the word Famous written on it. Lonely and bored while suspended from school, he puts the CD on and loses himself in the music. Zack has sound-color synesthesia. He sees colors when he hears music, and the music on the Famous CD causes incredible patterns of color for him. Zack becomes obsessed with the girl on the CD and tries to find her. He tracks down the singer, Jolene, in a cafe where she works while she dreams of the big time. He convinces her to let him help her achieve her dreams, but soon discovers that in her quest for fame, Jolene has done a lot of damage. Stuff We All Get is a gentle critique of celebrity culture in North America.
    Also available in French.

  • In most ways, Poe is like the other kids in his school. He thinks about girls and tries to avoid too much contact with teachers. He has a loving father who helps him with his homework. But Poe has a secret, and almost every day some small act threatens to expose him. He doesn't have a phone number to give to friends. He doesn't have an address. Poe and his father are living in a tent on city land. When the city clears the land to build housing, Poe worries that they might not be able to find another site near his school. Will Poe have to expose his secret to get help for himself and his father?

  • While volunteering at the local zoo, Robyn, Nick and Trevor learn that grizzly bears are being poached and their gall bladders removed for use in alternative medicine. Always ready to solve a mystery, the kids set out to find the poachers. Bear is not only big game, they learn, but big money to poachers. The stakes are high and the suspects many, as the kids head into their most dangerous adventure yet.

  • Maddie has big-city dreams, and this summer she's found her chance to visit New York. An art magazine is holding a portrait painting contest, and the first prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to the Big Apple. Maddie plans to win, but her mother has different plans for her: a mother-daughter adventure in organic farming. Maddie is furious. How will she find an inspiring subject for her portrait amid the goat poop and chickens? And worse, her new-age mother's attempts at pig reiki are an embarrassment. But Maddie befriends the farmer's daughter, Anna, and between dodging her mother and doing her chores, she finds the perfect subject for the portrait contest.

  • More than anything, twelve-year-old Max wants to play hockey like he used to. But since the death of his dad, his mom does more crying than mothering, and Max has to take his special-needs brother, Duncan, with him everywhere he goes. The team needs Max to win the upcoming game against the Red Eagles, but one practice with Duncan makes it evident that it's not safe to leave him unattended on the sidelines. With only a week to figure out how he can play in the big game, Max is feeling the pressure. Will he find a way to be a good teammate, a good brother and a good son, or is it too much for one kid?

  • Justin is fascinated with the aged guard dog at the corner store. He names it Smokey and sneaks the dog treats. Smokey belongs to a company that supplies working dogs to local businesses. Justin is thrilled to get a job working for Smokey's company, until he learns about the mistreatment of the animals. When Justin can't shake his suspicion that someone in the company is involved in a rash of thefts, he tries to quit. But Justin knows too much, and his boss won't let him go.

  • Left alone for the first time on the island he calls home, Simon is looking forward to a day of personal indulgence. His sister Ellen only wants to make sure they get their chores done. Their parents are busy trying to convince the government not to close the lighthouse that the family operates, and it's up to the kids to make sure everything runs smoothly. Neither Simon nor Ellen is prepared for the mysterious and potentially dangerous visitor who brings with him an unexpected storm and a riddle that may lead to treasure—treasure that could help them save the lighthouse. Simon and Ellen have to work together to solve the riddle before the stranger—or the weather—destroys their chances.

  • At a Battle of the Bands event, Ace and his best friend Denny notice that girls like musicians, no matter how dorky the dudes might be. Having, so far, been severely challenged when it comes to meeting girls, they decide to start a band. Ace discovers that he loves playing guitar and electric bass. While Denny tweets their every move and their clean-freak drummer, Pig, polishes everything in sight, Ace tries to write a song that will win at the next local teen songwriting contest. It's more difficult than he thought it would be. When Denny brings a great tune to rehearsal, Ace is devastated that Denny, who rarely practices, is a better songwriter than he is. The contest is only days away when Ace discovers that Denny stole the song, and Ace has to decide if winning is worth the lie.
    Also available in French.

  • Josh knows he's riding recklessly when he knocks down the old man he suspects is the hermit of Loggerman Creek. But he is shocked when the hermit walks into the forest with his bike after the accident. Being without his beloved bike for a week motivates Josh to hike into the woods and confront the crazy old man. The hermit, Jonathan, has fixed Josh's bike, and Josh learns that he has more in common with the old man than he ever imagined. When Jonathan needs help, Josh has to respect the old man's choices in order to save his life.

  • When Cody and his friends accept a challenge from a local gang to steal a park bench, their main concern is keeping themselves on the gang's good side. Cody learns that the stolen bench had been dedicated to the father of the English teacher who sponsors the school newspaper—the paper that Cody has just started writing for—and he's worried about the consequences. As the gang applies pressure for more from Cody and his friends, he realizes they've crossed a line, and now he has to figure out how to make it right.

  • Sam Campbell's school team, the Laggan Lairds, always loses. When someone suggests that their name be the Laggan Lard Butts, Sam thinks the team should change its name. What is a Laird anyway? The basketball coach agrees, and soon the whole school is involved in an election for a new team name. Sam and his friends nominate the name Lard Butts. When the basketball team starts winning games after a warm-up cheer of "Go Lard Butts!" it seems the Lard Butt campaign might actually win the election.

  • Claire's life is a mess. She's failing math, her depressed mother won't get off the couch, Eric, the boy of her dreams, is dating her nemesis Lucy. While Claire is wishing her life were better, lightning strikes. Soon afterward, everything changes. With Lucy in the hospital and out of the way, Claire attracts Eric's attention and gets the starring role in the school play. But good fortune has a cost: her newly energized mother reconciles with her deadbeat dad, the dream boy turns out to be a dud and Claire feels terrible guilt about gaining everything Lucy has lost. But how can Claire turn it around when lightning only strikes once?
    Also available in French.

  • Once again Callie is forced to take part in her mom's latest crusade. They head into ranch country to camp—bloodthirsty mosquitoes, stinky outhouses and all—at a protest to save a rural school. Callie's grandmother shows up with her biker buddies and the singing grannies. Callie hates camping and wants nothing to do with the protest. To make matters worse, Callie's only possible ally, her cousin Del, is mad at her. The last time Callie visited, she was thrown from Del's horse, Radish. Callie claimed the horse was vicious and now Del's parents are forcing her to sell Radish. Callie wants to help her cousin, but she's terrified of the horse. Del is just as tenacious as the rest of Callie's family, and Callie is forced to admit that she's not going to be allowed to go home until both the horse and the school are saved.

  • Dan Hogg is thrilled when his uncle offers him some work at a food fair, because he wants money to hire a professional trainer to help him with his scrawny physique. His excitement vanishes when he learns that the job is dressing up in a hotdog costume and handing out samples. Every dark cloud has its silver lining, Dan discovers, when he, or rather Frank Lee Better, his mascot persona, gains the attention of a pretty girl named Brooke. The attention is great until Dan finds himself under attack from Cupcake Katie and a mysterious guy with a strange interest in Brooke. It's not until he's huddling in a bathroom in nothing but his tight white underwear that Dan begins to suspect Brooke's attention might be too good to be true.

  • Fifteen-year-old Tim loves his job at his dad's pet store, partly because he gets to spend time with his best friend, a black cockatoo named Elmo. But things at work have been tense since the store moved to a larger, more expensive location. To make extra money his father rents out the store's exotic birds for parties and Tim is furious at this exploitation of his friend. When Elmo is stolen from one of the parties, the police are unconcerned about the theft. Tim and his new human friend, Sapna, set out to find Elmo and discover that Elmo is more valuable than they'd ever imagined.

  • Lizzie Lane is used to life at the top of the food chain. Her near-perfect life is ruined when Rachel, a girl she socially destroyed, exacts her revenge by getting Lizzie in trouble for cheating on a test. Friendless and facing detention, Lizzie obsesses over finding the perfect revenge. When Stella, Lizzie's strange new neighbor, teaches Lizzie about magick, Lizzie can't resist creating a revenge spell. But she forgets the "rule of three," that whatever spell you cast comes back on you three-fold, and her zit spell backfires with dramatic results. When she asks for help from Stella's Baba, the only advice she gets is to "write the lesson of the zit on her heart." Can Lizzie find a way to teach Rachel a lesson without causing permanent disfigurement to herself?
    Also available in French.

  • Turk needs cash, but he's allergic to his own sweat so getting a job is out of the question. Then he makes a discovery: Girls love dogs. Turk's friends will do anything to meet girls. Turk starts a dog walking business. His friends walk the dogs and Turk collects half the money. In an attempt to impress dog-loving Carly, Turk brags about his business in front of the school tough guy, Chuck. When Chuck learns the true nature of Turk's business and wants in on the action, Turk worries that he will lose his business and Carly's respect.

  • At first Kaz intends to help the old lady who's fallen in the park. But then he starts thinking about how he never gets what he wants. The next thing he knows, he's running away with her purse. The purse contains only five dollars and a battered watch. When Kaz learns who the old woman is and where the watch came from, he begins to understand consequences in a new way.

  • Keegan and Alex are the only kids in Leamington who haven't volunteered to help out with the town's annual tomato festival. In an attempt to teach them a sense of responsibility, their fathers put them in charge of the tomato toss. The boys decide it's their responsibility to add a little excitement to the event. They exchange the traditional wooden targets for human targets and, before they know it, they are running the most popular event at the fair. The excitement may be too much for the sleepy town and soon the tomato toss is taken to the streets.

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