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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »He Who Dreams«

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He Who Dreams

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


Juggling soccer, school, friends and family leaves John with little time for anything else. But one day at the local community center, following the sound of drums, he stumbles into an Indigenous dance class. Before he knows what's happening, John finds himself stumbling through beginner classes with a bunch of little girls, skipping soccer practice and letting his other responsibilities slide. When he attends a pow wow and witnesses a powerful performance, he realizes that he wants to be a dancer more than anything. But the nearest class for boys is at the Native Cultural Center in the city, and he still hasn't told his family or friends about his new passion. If he wants to dance, he will have to stop hiding. Between the mocking of his teammates and the hostility of the boys in his dance class, John must find a way to balance and embrace both the Irish and Cree sides of his heritage.

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Melanie Florence is of Cree and Scottish descent. She is the author of the OLA Best Bets award-winning book Righting Canada's Wrongs: Residential Schools, Missing Nimama, which was awarded an Honourable Mention by the OLA, and Jordin Tootoo: The Highs and Lows in the Journey of the First Inuk to Play in the NHL, which was chosen as an Honor Book by The American Indian Library Association. Melanie works as a freelance journalist, and her byline has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dance International, Writer Magazine, Parents Canada and Urban Male Magazine. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her family. For more information, visit www.melanieflorence.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Show Mode«

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Show Mode

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


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.

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The author of four books for children, Raquel Rivera has lived and worked in Washington, DC, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Barcelona and Toronto, Ontario (where she was born and raised). She now lives in Montreal, Quebec, with her family. For more information, visit www.raquelriverawashere.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Strings Attached«

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Strings Attached

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


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.

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Diane Dakers has worked as a print and broadcast journalist since 1991, specializing in arts reporting and science journalism. She has two novels with Orca, Bad Business and Homecoming. Diane lives in Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.dianedakers.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Big Time«

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Big Time

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


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!

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"I would recommend this book, due to its stellar characters and unique concept. Performing arts novels are quite rare after all!"

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"Readers will want to ride along for the high hopes and disappointments, as well as the self-discovery that is part of Gerri’s journey to embrace and polish her talent."

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"A believable and instructive story about art and life."

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"A feel-good story that is all about a love of music and following one’s dreams."

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"Readers who have a musical interest will appreciate Gerri’s musical journey. It’s also refreshing to read about Gerri’s family that is extremely supportive of her dreams but realistic. Music brings generations together in this novel. The Limelights series promises readers a quick, interesting read and this book delivers."

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Tom Ryan was born and raised in Inverness, Cape Breton. After high school, he studied English at Mount Allison University and then moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he studied film production. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his husband and their dog, Wheeler. For more information, visit www.tomryanauthor.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Breaking Big«

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Breaking Big

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


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?

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"A solid addition to the Orca Limelights Series...To those interested in a fine arts-based education, this novel provides an unsentimental view of the rigorous scheduling and interpersonal dynamics."

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"Draper has written a delightful story about a world that most teenagers, especially males, never see. Draper has the teenage attitude and behavior down perfectly and that makes Robin’s life realistic. A fun novel to read, and teens will surely enjoy a peek into the world of dance, possibly even opening an avenue to their dreams of dance as a career. Highly Recommended."

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"Nicely captures the competition and camaraderie of a group of people whose bodies are honed, molded, bloodied, and broken in pursuit of a common dream. It is refreshing to see this story told from a male dancer's perspective, and Robin's narrative style, arrogant and vulnerable by turn, aptly reflects the angst and self-doubt of a teenager who realizes that obtaining his heart's desire means that he now has something to lose. As his good fortune turns his classmates into critics and breeds its own particular brand of loneliness, the novel's dramatic stakes remain clear and absorbing. While Robin is the novel's protagonist, ballet itself is undeniably the story's main character. Contextual usage of ballet terminology and vivid description of movement bring the physicality and fluidity of dance to life, making this novel both a love letter and useful introduction to the art form. Dance veterans and newbies will relate to this readable account of the trials and tribulations of being in the spotlight."

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Penny Draper is the award-winning author of numerous books for kids and teens. Raised in Toronto, Ontario, she now lives in Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.pennydraper.ca.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Across the Floor«

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Across the Floor

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


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?

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"Deen is clearly in her element writing about dance, and every leg extension and muscle strain feels achingly authentic, as does Luc's initial cluelessness, providing readers with an excellent introduction to dance terminology...racial and sexual diversity is seamlessly integrated into the text...sure to satisfy beginners and seasoned dancers longing to relive those first steps that made them love the craft."

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"Luc is flawed though self-aware enough to be identified with."

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Award-winning author Natasha Deen loves stories: exciting ones, scary ones and, especially, funny ones! As a kid of two countries (Guyana and Canada), she feels especially lucky because she gets a double dose of stories. When she's not working on her books or visiting schools, she spends a lot of time trying to convince her dogs and cats that she's the boss of the house.For more information, visit natashadeen.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @natasha_deen.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Billboard Express«

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Billboard Express

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


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.

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"Readers who enjoyed Rock the Boat will be happy to return to Brouwer's Nashville and go through a different journey with Elle...Recommended for reluctant readers and young adolescents."

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"Morgan and Brouwer paint an accurate portrait of the Nashville star-making machinery and the constant tug of war between art and commerce. It's deliciously entertaining, but most of all Elle's bravery is inspiring. After all...don't we all want to be true to ourselves and live authentic lives? This book will remind you why that's so valuable."

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"This is a feel-good glimpse into the life of a rising star. If you are looking for titles with strong female protagonists that are high-interest/low vocabulary, this title is exactly what you are looking for."

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Sigmund Brouwer is the author of over 20 novels for adults and dozens of books for children. He visits over 150 schools per year to deliver his Rock and Roll Literacy presentation, reaching about 60,000 students per year. Sigmund lives in Red Deer, Alberta. For more information, visit www.sigmundbrouwer.com.

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Cindy Morgan is an award-winning singer-songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. A two-time Grammy nominee, Cindy is an adjunct professor of songwriting at Nashville's Belmont University. For more information, visit www.cindymorganmusic.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Casting Lily«

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Casting Lily

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


Fourteen-year-old Ava is thrilled when she lands a part in a play based on the true story of orphans sent to Canada in the 1800s to work on farms. But is she good enough to hold her own in a professional production? As the rehearsal pressures crank up, Ava struggles with her character, with the vocal demands of outdoor theater and with the annoying ego of her castmate Kiefer. But as she learns more about the historical Lily on which her part is based, things begin to fall into place.

Then one bad decision jeopardizes Ava's chances of being able to perform on opening night.

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"Casting Lily is more than a story about a play. It is about family, friendship, doing a job well and being authentic. Ava grows as a character, as well as a young person, over the course of the summer…A good read. Highly Recommended."

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"Bennett has thoroughly researched the process of working with young performers, from the auditions to the warm-ups, the rehearsal schedule and costume challenges, the opening night jitters and emotional reactions to press reviews. For drama students this will be familiar and comforting ground."

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Holly Bennett is the author of numerous young adult novels, all published by Orca. She lives in Peterborough, Ontario, where she enjoys singing, being in nature, hanging out with her family, Scrabble and, of course, reading. For more information, visit www.hollybennett.ca.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Cut the Lights«

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Cut the Lights

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


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.

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"A fast-paced read...Cut the Lights builds to a satisfying conclusion and will appeal not only to budding performers, but also to any teen who has ever felt misunderstood."

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[Starred review] "Orca has long dedicated itself to publishing contemporary fiction for reluctant readers, and this entry into the Limelights line is one of their finest offerings...Krossing has done her research, filling her

story with specifics...that any young thespian will recognize. A ticking clock—Briar has just four weeks of rehearsal—lends a level of tension greater than that of many books with higher stakes...An ideal read-alike for Raina Telgemeier’s Drama."

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"Without making Briar altruistic or unbelievable, Karen Krossing has created a character who learns to make good choices by considering others' needs, something most of us should do more often."

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"Secondary characters are well realized, with the dialogue displaying their anger, frustration and joy...The novel is told in present tense which provides an immediacy and urgency to the tone that will satisfy the intended readership. Junior high students who are interested in the power, dynamics and politics of theatre will be especially attracted to this easily read, short novel."

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"The characters were great, the concept was fresh and the writing was top-notch. Sure to delight young performers of all kinds (actors, musicians, dancers)!"

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"Messages of teamwork, perseverance and pressure are woven throughout the novel, as well as lots of behind-the-scenes detail about what it takes to get a production to the stage. Fast-paced and full of drama, readers will be turning the pages, anxious to see the results of Briar’s efforts and to discover how her play, and her cast and crew, turn out in the end...This innovative series offers something for all kinds of readers whether they are directly involved in the performing arts or not. They are short, fast-paced and well executed—stories perfect for fans of performing arts-focused television shows such as Glee."

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“Krossing is a confident, engaging writer, and the book’s setting is a kind of Glee-meets-Fame dream school that kids will find very appealing…Given how many kids dream of stardom, the Limelights series is sure to hold wide appeal.”

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"A realistic portrayal of theatre work...[and] an excellent representation of a teenager who has high expectations for herself and others...Krossing shows that, while teenagers have goals and dreams, there are compromises that have to be made in order to succeed, especially when other people are involved in order to fulfill that dream...Highly Recommended."

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"The plot develops quickly and is centered around Briar...This simplicity makes it ideal for reluctant readers. Drama enthusiasts will like Krossing's creative touch of beginning each chapter with a setting description, just like in a play."

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Karen Krossing writes novels and short stories for kids and teens. Karen also encourages new writers through workshops for kids, teens and adults. She lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit www.karenkrossing.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Totally Unrelated«

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Totally Unrelated

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


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.

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"Any reader who has ever taken lessons in anything—whether it be artistic or not—will appreciate Neil’s struggles and will completely understand the personal and family pressure he feels to perfect his craft. Readers will also appreciate the conflict he feels between family obligation and personal interests, and the author resolves the situation in a satisfying and realistic manner...This

innovative series offers something for all kinds of readers whether they are directly involved in the performing arts or not. They are short, fast-paced and well executed—stories perfect for fans of performing arts-focused television shows such as Glee."

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"Ryan uses simple language to create rich characters that stick with you long after you are finished reading the story. Readers can identify with Neil's struggles and his journey—the self-doubt and lack of direction. Bert, Sandy, and 'the Beast' are gorgeously drawn supporting characters who help Neil see beyond his own perceptions and reach for the dreams he didn't know he had."

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"Neil’s voice is honest, with a touch of sarcasm and lack of self-perception that is appropriate for this age. Ryan wisely uses his other characters to flesh out Neil’s blind spots for the reader...The plot moves quickly as the reader follows Neil’s rising excitement about shows...Highly Recommended."

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“Ryan writes well, and there’s a positive underlying message about following your own path while honouring other responsibilities and commitments...Given how many kids dream of stardom, the Limelights series is sure to hold wide appeal.”

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"A quick, enjoyable read, perfect for reluctant readers who like a 'feel good' story...Deals with subjects such as relationships, families, commitments, conflict and perserverance—a refreshing change."

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Tom Ryan was born and raised in Inverness, Cape Breton. After high school, he studied English at Mount Allison University and then moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he studied film production. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his husband and their dog, Wheeler. For more information, visit www.tomryanauthor.com.

 
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