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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Desert Slam«

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Desert Slam

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


For spring break, sixteen-year-old Maya travels from Vancouver to Palm Springs to visit her grandparents, soak up the sun and play some tennis. When they surprise her with tickets to the Indian Wells tennis tournament, she can't believe her luck. This is going to be the best vacation ever. But on the way back from the match they get into a fender bender. The other driver suggests they just square up and not involve the police or insurance companies. That seems odd to Maya, especially since the passenger of the other vehicle is visibly pregnant. But because Maya was driving, her grandfather is worried about repercussions and agrees to the deal. Later, Maya and her new friend Ruby discover that similar incidents have happened to others in her grandparents' gated community. They start to investigate, and when they spot the woman from the crash working in a clothing store, and clearly not pregnant, they know they are onto something.

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Steven Barwin leads a double life as a writer and a teacher. He is the author of a number of sport-themed books, including Orca Sports titles Hardball and Hurricane Heat. He has also written for numerous television shows and contributed to the creation of the NASCAR and World Wrestling DVD board games. Steven lives in Toronto with his family. For more information, visit www.stevenbarwin.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Identify«

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Identify

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


Ethan is an anxiety-ridden loner who relies on medication to get through his day. During one of his fairly frequent panic attacks, a girl from school named Gabriella comes to his rescue. Gabe, as she prefers to be known, is facing her own inner turmoil. She has always been a tomboy, but the more pressure she faces to act and dress "like a girl," the more she wonders just who she really is.

When he learns that Gabe is being constantly harassed at school, Ethan discovers he is able to overcome his own fears in order to stand up for his new friend. Then Gabe finds a disturbing note in her locker, and the threats begin to escalate. Ethan confronts the person responsible, but things take an unexpected turn, and he suddenly finds himself being questioned by police, accused of assault. With a dose of courage and a surprising ally, the two friends come up with a plan to set things right and end up discovering who they really are along the way.

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Lesley Choyce, who has been teaching English and creative writing for over thirty years, is the author of dozens of books of literary fiction, short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction and young adult novels. He has won the Dartmouth Book Award, the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Ann Connor Brimer Award. He has also been shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal, the White Pine Award, the Hackmatack Award, the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award and, most recently, the Governor General's Award. For more information, visit www.lesleychoyce.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »In Plain Sight«

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In Plain Sight

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


Fifteen-year-old Megan "Cause Queen” Caliente is president of the political science club and likes to make her voice heard. But after the protest she organized on the Las Vegas Strip takes an unexpected turn, she is suddenly wishing she could disappear. When her mother comes to pick her up at the police station, Megan learns, to her horror, that her whole life has been a lie. Her father is a convicted terrorist, responsible for the deaths of more than two hundred people, and her mother has been living under an assumed name for fifteen years. Megan’s mom is taken away in handcuffs, and Megan is expected to return to her regular life under the supervision of her aunt. But everyone, students and teachers alike, is treating her differently now. Cruel accusations and gossip, as well as persistent reporters, follow her everywhere. Worried that she is destined to follow in her father’s footsteps, Megan, with the help of the charismatic Matt Mendez, the only person at school who hasn’t turned on her, decides to track down the father she thought was dead and get some answers.

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Laura Langston is the award--winning author of over fifteen books for children and young adults, including Hot New Thing in the Orca Limelights series. When she's not writing, reading or walking her Shetland sheepdogs, Laura can usually be found spying on people in the grocery store or twisting herself into a pretzel in yoga class. For more information, visit www.lauralangston.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Pinch Me«

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Pinch Me

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


After another night of girls, music and booze, seventeen-year-old pop star Darius Zaire falls out of bed and lands on the cruddy floor of his old bedroom. No mansion, no luxury cars, no platinum records. Now he's just ordinary Darren Zegers. Some kind of nightmare has erased everything that happened to change Darren the dweeb into Darius the multimillionaire.

Now Darius has to face an ordinary day in the twelfth grade, suffering through remedial English and wondering what happened to the last three years, let alone all his fans and money. He desperately wants to return to his old life, but he is starting to worry that maybe this is reality, and it was his other life that was the dream.

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Gabrielle Prendergast is a UK-born Canadian/Australian who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband and daughter. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. A part-time teacher and mentor, Gabrielle is the author of the verse novels Capricious and Audacious, which was shortlisted for a CLA Award, and The Frail Days in the Orca Limelights and the middle-grade novel Pandas on the Eastside. For more information, visit www.angelhorn.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Cellular«

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Cellular

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


Brendan has it all—captain of the basketball team, good friends, a beautiful girlfriend and a loving family—until he is diagnosed with leukemia. Terrified and convinced that no one understands what he is going through, Brendan faces chemotherapy alone, until he meets Lark. She is also in treatment, although her condition is much worse, and yet she remains positive and hopeful. Brendan is torn between feeling sorry for himself and the love for life that Lark brings to even the simplest thing. Through Lark, he discovers the strength to go on, to fight for survival and to love.

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"Genuinely moving."

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"This fast-moving book would be well-suited for reluctant readers at the high school level."

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"Schwartz captures the awkwardness and pain of those dealing with such a diagnosis, especially the patient...In this emotional entry in the Orca Soundings series, Lark's sweetness and wisdom spin out on a trajectory that readers just know will not end happily for her, even though Brendan knows she has touched his life mightily."

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"An excellent hi/lo portrayal of the physical and emotional effects of leukemia. The teen characters are believable and the writing is powerful."

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"Schwartz packs a lot of intensity into this slim novel, touching on the reality of what having cancer is like for teens, physically and emotionally."

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"A very powerful and emotional book...Schwartz does an amazing job capturing the fear and heartache Brendan, and his family, undergo as he battles cancer in hopes of survival. I highly recommend this novel as it puts everything in perspective and will make you count your blessings. Five stars."

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"Has the ability to hook reluctant readers of both sexes as its main character struggles to accept his illness and the limitations it poses on his life, while offering hope for his survival physically and spiritually."

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Ellen Schwartz is the author of over fifteen books. In addition to writing books, she has published dozens of magazine articles and adult short stories, and her stories for children have been published in children's magazines and teaching anthologies. Ellen, whose background is in education, currently works as a corporate and curriculum writer and editor, and teaches creative writing classes at Simon Fraser University and Douglas College. Ellen has two daughters and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.ellenschwartz.net.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »B Negative«

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B Negative

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


Paddy loves his family, all except for his annoying stepfather Anthony. When they have a discussion about his future, Paddy overreacts and threatens to join the army. Unable to back down, he finds he is alienating everyone around him. And when he takes the physical exam and learns his blood type, his world starts to crumble and he starts to question everything he thought he knew.

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"The cover art will capture readers' attention but the brief, compelling story will snag readers' thoughts and have them turning the pages as quickly as they can read...The family characters shown here are spare, but believable as low-income, struggling, and imperfect. Readers may identify with these gritty characters."

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"Grant is adept at creating highly engaging stories...The plot is briskly paced and straightforward, and is likely to capture the interest of contemporary teen readers. The dialogue is snappy and realistic, and Paddy's first-person narration allows readers to easily understand his motivations and point of view throughout the story...Accessible and compelling."

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"The theme of how people can best parent, and the underlying fear of every adolescent that their true parent MUST be someone else are foremost in this short novel, and will fascinate those struggling readers, especially boys...Teens in conflict with parents and unsure of their future will empathize with Paddy and be drawn into his drama."

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"This fast-paced story—an entry in the Orca Soundings series for reluctant readers—takes us on a roller-coaster ride of a mixed-up family as Paddy processes new information and deals with new relationships. The crux of the story is a fascinating paternity case."

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Vicki Grant is the award-winning author of sixteen books for teens. Her books have been translated into fifteen languages. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. For more information, visit www.vickigrant.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Back«

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Back

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


Jojo's back, released from jail, and people are tense and afraid all over again. They wonder if his friends will start showing up again. They wonder if they'll be walking down the street one day and they'll run into Jojo and Jojo will give them attitude or shove them around, just for fun. Jojo's friends have a way of making it hard--really hard--on people who decide to press charges against Jojo. Those people just wish Jojo would go away and never come back. Then there are the people who have hate in their hearts. These people wish something bad would happen to Jojo. Something really bad. Ardell Withrow is one of those people.

Also available in Spanish.

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"Back is sure to satisfy Norah McClintock fans as well as teens looking for an authentic urban experience in a well-told, accessible story. It is also an excellent choice for read-aloud. Highly Recommended."

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"Bullying and revenge are common themes in young adult literature, but author Norah McClintock gives these classic themes an updated twist...The experiences in the book are ones to which almost any reader will relate."

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"This short but powerful story explores the topic of forgiveness and redemption from the perspective of a bystander who renames nameless and genderless...This is a good morality tale that will have reluctant readers thinking about how they would react in a similar situation. Recommended."

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"Fits the Orca Soundings template to perfection. It is suspenseful and plot-driven, and written in a neutral way that leaves much to the inference of the reader. It covers strong, current issues with realistic language."

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"Perfect for reluctant readers up for some soul-searching."

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Norah McClintock won the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for crime fiction for young people five times. She wrote more than sixty YA novels, including contributions to Seven (the series), the Seven Sequels and the Secrets series.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Bang«

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Bang

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


Quentin and JD have been friends forever. Even after JD gets in trouble Quentin stands by him. Hanging out together Quentin learns JD has a gun and when they are caught in a robbery JD uses the gun—with deadly results. Trying to cover up the crime and escape detection, Quentin gets in even deeper than he expected and learns that the only person he can trust is himself. Especially when his freedom—and his future—is at stake.

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"A great coming of age novel...It speaks volumes to teens about the destructiveness of drug use, anger, and idleness, while directly showing that there are always consequences for our actions. And, while the novel has wonderful themes for exploration, it also has an extremely engaging format. McClintock did a superb job creating the voice for Quentin, who narrates his story just like teenagers speak today...[It's] a wonderful format to engross the reader, and I absolutely love it. There is just enough mystery to peak interest, while not overwhelming or confusing the reader. I recommend this for all age groups, but especially reluctant readers. I strongly believe that this novel, along with other Orca Soundings books, will push reluctant readers to progressively read more, and build their way to higher reading levels."

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"Maintains the perfect balance of good story, age-appropriate conflict, good writing [with] a controlled vocabulary and style."

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"A powerful book...[that will] meet some important needs."

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"Fast-paced...narration style makes it easier to cover longer amounts of time in a shorter space. Recommended."

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Norah McClintock won the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for crime fiction for young people five times. She wrote more than sixty YA novels, including contributions to Seven (the series), the Seven Sequels and the Secrets series.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Battle of the Bands«

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Battle of the Bands

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


Jay, Kelvin and Cia are The Lunar Ticks, a dedicated band who are convinced they are on their way up. They hope to win an upcoming battle of the bands where the first prize is a full day in a recording studio. Jay is struggling to write new material but finds he lacks the experience to come up with a truly original song. Going up against Indigo Daze, a band from another school, Jay finds himself falling for Rowan, the leader of the other band. When Rowan's guitar is trashed right before the contest The Lunar Ticks are the prime suspects.

Also available in Spanish.

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"Filled with humour, first crushes and break-ups...Recommended."

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"The short chapter and fast-paced, rock-themed action will appeal to reluctant and struggling readers."

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"In her first novel, K.L. Denman has created engaging and realistic characters. Recommended."

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"It's powerful and attention grabbing, telling a fascinating story of love, life, and music. The characters are wonderful."

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K.L. Denman has written many novels for youth, including the Orca Currents titles Destination Human and Agent Angus. Many of K.L.’s titles have been listed as Best Books of the Year, and Me, Myself and Ike was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary award. She lives in Delta, British Columbia.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Big Guy«

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Big Guy

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


Derek thinks he might be falling in love. The problem is, he hasn't been entirely honest with his online boyfriend. Derek sent Ethan a photo taken before he got depressed and gained eighty pounds. Derek hasn't been honest with his employer either. When he lied about his age and experience to get a job with disabled adults, the last thing he expected was to meet a woman like Aaliyah. Smart, prickly and often difficult, Aaliyah challenges Derek's ideas about honesty and trust. Derek has to choose whether to risk telling the truth or to give up the most important relationship in his life.

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"A fast read that should appeal to any reader looking for a story of self-acceptance and the determination to carry on."

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"Engrossing and heartfelt...Stevenson deals with controversial and emotional issues with sensitivity and realism. Recommended."

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*no details*

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"Complex themes handled very well with humor and directness, this book would be a good addition to a HS library."

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Robin Stevenson is the author of more than twenty-five books for kids and teens, including The Summer We Saved the Bees and Pride Colors. The first edition of her nonfiction book Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community (2016) won a Stonewall Honor and was shortlisted for numerous other awards. Robin lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

 
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