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Plank's Law

Orca Book Publishers


Trevor has known since he was ten years old that he has Huntington's disease, but at sixteen he is informed that he has one year to live. One day while he's trying to figure stuff out, an old man named Plank finds him standing at a cliff by the ocean. It's the beginning of an odd but intriguing relationship. Both Trevor and Plank decide to live by Plank's Law, which is "just live." This means Trevor has to act on the things on his bucket list, like hanging out with real penguins, star in a science fiction movie and actually talk to Sara—the girl at the hospital who smiles at him.

With the aid of Plank and Sara, Trevor revises his bucket list to include more important things and takes charge of his illness and his life.

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"Plank's Law will appeal to a variety of young adult readers. The interesting and relatable subject matter and multidimensional characters are likely to engage both reluctant and experienced readers. The short page length, larger font, and fast-moving plot will appeal to both inexperienced readers and strong readers looking for a quick, yet realistic and interesting read. The book is apt to encourage readers to think about living life to the fullest. Plank's Law is a heartwarming read that covers serious topics whilst injecting doses of humour throughout."

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"While I didn't learn much about Huntington's disease, Choyce explored something more vital and universal through Trevor's story: what makes you want to live when you're facing death?…When I finished reading, I cried. While I have faced that question many times over the course of my life, I have never seen it put quite so succinctly. What made me cry most was how much I needed Plank's Law when I was a teen."

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"It is sweet but not overly sappy…With a strong male protagonist, plain and sometimes blunt language, and an opening in the style of The Catcher in the Rye, this short novel may hook reluctant readers."

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"This is a great book for anyone who is afraid to live life to the most. Life is short, enjoy it!"

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"An engaging story about two people living on what could be borrowed time and how they manage to make the most of it while maintaining a realistic (as opposed to nihilistic) view on their world. The maintenance of perspective here is what gives this book its strength…The overall tone of this latest novel from Lesley Choyce is really quite uplifting and for a story about a dying teenager, that is no mean accomplishment."

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"Choyce reminds readers that death is its own storyteller and there are always surprises along the way…The story offers fine comedic vignettes and playful dialogue, raising this well above standard illness fare."

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Lesley Choyce, who has been teaching English and creative writing for over thirty years, is the author of more than ninety 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 short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humor, the White Pine Award, the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award, the Aurora Award from the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association and, most recently, the Governor General’s Literary Award. He lives in Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Dancing in the Rain«

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Dancing in the Rain

Orca Book Publishers


While struggling with the death of her beloved adoptive mother, sixteen-year-old Brenna reconnects with members of her biological family, hoping to discover why her biological mother broke off contact many years earlier. At the same time, she is falling in love with Ryan, who provides support while she grieves but has to leave her when she needs him most. Despite powerful feelings of abandonment, Brenna realizes that getting strong physically and focusing on the needs of others might just help her move beyond her crippling grief, find peace and plan a future for herself.

Dancing in the Rain continues the story that began in Shelley Hrdlitschka’s bestselling Dancing Naked.

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"Explores realistic truth that not all relationships can be mended while also offering healing and hope."

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"The present tense narration is refreshing and lends a sense of urgency to the plot...The characters including Naysa, Brenna and their father, Brett, are well conceived. A reader could easily see these characters as real people going through real events...Highly recommended."

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Shelley Hrdlitschka has written many novels for teens, including Sister Wife, which was nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award. She lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia, where she hikes, snowshoes and hangs out with grizzly bears at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife. For more information, visit www.shelleyhrdlitschka.ca.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »A toda velocidad«

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A toda velocidad

Orca Book Publishers | Spanish Soundings


Jake consiguió por fin su licencia de manejo y esta noche además puede usar el auto de su hermano. Junto con su amigo Mickey, Jake sale a pasear en el auto. Cuando desafían a otro conductor a una carrera callejera, una desastrosa reacción en cadena provoca un accidente. Jake y Mickey abandonan el lugar y tratan de convencerse de que son inocentes. Pero Jake no puede simplemente hacer como si nada hubiera pasado y se siente muy confundido. ¿Tendría que tratar de olvidar lo que pasó o debería ir a la policía?

Jake has finally got his driver's license, and tonight he has his brother's car as well. He and his friend Mickey take the car out and cruise the strip. When they challenge another driver to a street race, a disastrous chain reaction causes an accident. Jake and Mickey leave the scene, trying to convince themselves they were not involved. Jake finds he cannot pretend it didn't happen and struggles with the right thing to do. Should he pretend he was not involved? Or should he go to the police?

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"A fast moving and exciting book that will capture young teens' imagination and will keep them reading...Spanish speakers will be able to read them very quickly and will come back looking for more."

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"The book is written at a level accessible to most middle school students and is an excellent resource for ELL and struggling readers...The teen voice in this story is authentic."

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Eric Walters began writing as a way to get his fifth-grade students interested in reading and writing. A Member of the Order of Canada, he has now published more than 100 novels and picture books. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to over 100,000 students per year in schools across the country. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Monteur de taureau«

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Monteur de taureau

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings in French


Layne ne veut qu'une chose, suivre les traces de son père comme monteur de taureau. Son père était sur le point de remporter le championnat national lorsqu'il a été piétiné à mort. Layne veut remporter ce championnat pour son père. Mais il ne veut pas finir comme lui et mourir dans l'arène du rodéo. Lorsque l'occasion se présente, Layne doit faire face à sa plus grande peur.

Layne wants nothing more than to follow in his father's footsteps and to be a bull rider. His dad was one ride away from a National Championship when he got trampled to death. Layne wants to be able to give his dad that championship—by winning it for him. What he doesn't want, though, is to end up like his father and die in the rodeo arena. When the chance comes, Layne realizes he must face up to his greatest fear. With the help of his friend Jana, and his bratty younger sister, Layne learns to reach deep inside and trust himself.

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"Short sentences, short chapters [and] easy vocabulary make this unintimidating...Orca does a great service to American foreign language students by offering its signature short books in translation...An enthusiastic thumbs up."

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Blue Moon is Marilyn Halvorson's second book in the Orca Soundings series. Bull Rider was an ALA Quick Pick nominee. When she is not caring for cattle on her ranch, Marilyn spends her time writing. For more information, visit www.marilynhalvorson.ca.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Riley Park«

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Riley Park

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


Seventeen-year-old Corbin plays hockey and is known as a scrapper on and off the ice. Fighting makes him feel strong. Corbin's friend, Darius, is socially adept and popular, and Darius's reckless risk-taking makes Corbin feel alive. With Rubee, a girl both boys like, Darius crosses a line, and after a party at Riley Park, Darius and Corbin are attacked. Darius is killed; Corbin is seriously injured. Corbin fights his clouded memory—he can't identify the assailants. He fights his weakened body—he can no longer play hockey. He fights the loss of his friend. But when he gives up the fight, he finds strength in acceptance.

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"Likable flawed characters drive the plot in this gritty contemporary drama. The fast-paced read feels current and edgy without succumbing to inner-city staging. Riley Park will have both reluctant and struggling readers flipping the pages."

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"Good for students who are looking for a quick read."

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"An intriguing storyline...The story is told in first person by Corbin, pulling the reader into his changed life. The reader feels his doubt and anger. This book will make a good "guy read", especially for reluctant readers."

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"Another solid entry in the 'Orca Soundings' series that will appeal to either gender...Recommended."

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"A suspenseful, tightly plotted story that manages, in only 102 pages, to create both a memorable protagonist and a thought-provoking, emotionally involving story."

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Diane Tullson has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and is a trained technical writer. She is a member of the Canadian Children's Book Centre, the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable, Children's Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia and the Writers Union of Canada. Diane has been nominated for many awards, including the Stellar Award and the Arthur Ellis Award. Diane lives near Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.dianetullson.com.

 
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Whatever Doesn't Kill You

Orca Book Publishers


Jenna Cooper was only a few days old when her father was murdered and her family was shattered. Now fifteen, she daydreams of a picture-perfect sitcom family as she struggles with the gritty realities of her life. When Jenna finds out that Travis Bingham, the man who shot her father, has been released from prison, she becomes obsessed with tracking him down and confronting him. But her search reveals that there may be more to her father's murder than she has been led to believe—and will her relationships with her family and friends survive her obsession?

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"The mystery of Jenna's family's past and her efforts to unravel the truth make for the heart of this story...Whatever Doesn't Kill You should be popular with those who enjoy Norah McClintock's many novels as well as fans of Judy Blume's Tiger Eyes. Recommended."

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"[The author] keeps the tension tight as secrets from the past come to light and Jenna discovers that things are not as they seem. Wennick writes with a knowing honesty about her characters and the inner-city setting, delivering a sympathetic narrator and suitably edgy dialogue...Whatever Doesn’t Kill You works well as a contemporary, urban YA novel."

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"Whatever Doesn't Kill You is best described as haunting. The ghosts that are around, though, are the virtual ones of guilt, fear, and the unknown...Wennick never goes for the easy route of tying up all storylines and going for the happily-ever-after. She keeps things real."

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"Wennick keeps her prose flowing nicely, and her characters come across as real people with strengths and flaws. Jenna's confusion and her determination to sort out her understanding of both herself and her history come through clearly and sympathetically. A solid, affecting coming-of-age tale."

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"Wennick provides a sympathetic main character, readers will relate to Jenna’s struggles for a better life and a desire to learn more about the father she never knew...Recommended."

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"This brief, taut novel is thick with Jenna's legitimate angst and understandable longing for answers...A believable portrait of a family destroyed, destroyed again, and finally rebuilt."

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"Readers will be hooked from the first sentence and kept on the line by the quick-paced plot and easy-to-follow language...Intriguing enough to hold the interest of even the most reluctant readers...,it is an overall good selection for those looking for a quick, heartening read."

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Elizabeth Wennick grew up in Germany and Burlington, Ontario, and spent a number of years on Canada's east coast before moving back to Ontario. She has written two novels, a weekly newspaper humor column and many short plays, and she has co-written two musicals. Elizabeth currently lives in Brantford, Ontario, with her husband, two sons, two cats, a dog and varying degrees of chaos.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »About That Night«

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About That Night

Orca Book Publishers


In the depths of winter, a woman wanders off in the snow. She is a popular former teacher and wife of a local policeman. A full-blown search begins.

Meanwhile, Derek is staying with his new girlfriend and her parents while his family is out of town. He can’t believe his luck—Jordie is the hottest girl in school, and he’s going out with her. When Ronan, school bad boy and Jordie’s ex-boyfriend, shows up, Jordie decides that maybe Derek isn’t the one after all. But before she can end it with him, Derek disappears. Did he run away? Or did something happen to him? Is there a connection between the two disappearances? As Jordie slowly starts unraveling the truth, she finds that nothing about that night is as it seems. When she finds Derek’s body, suspicion falls on her. And then on Ronan. But Jordie knows she didn’t kill Derek. And she is sure Ronan didn’t. So who is responsible? And why was Derek marked for death?

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"Fast, fun, and surprising!"

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"A fast-paced read that will hold readers’ attention from beginning to end, and perhaps leave them with questions they didn’t expect."

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"[The characters'] mature speech, combined with plenty of adult characters, makes this a great crossover novel. The present-tense narration helps keep the mystery taut with concise pacing. A classic whodunit."

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"McClintock avoids the usual patterns of murder mysteries, relying on detailed and believable characterizations that round out the plentiful plot twists. When she does employ a frequently used device, the characters often comment on it ironically, bringing the reader into the joke. Mystery fans will appreciate the thoughtful plotting, the complex characters, and an ambiguous ending that guarantees readers will be mulling over the story long after they finish. Of special note are the descriptions of landscape and weather: cold, forbidding, and characters in themselves, with their own secrets and dangers."

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"Exciting and intriguing from the very beginning."

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"McClintock spins the tale and its readers off to a messy and deliciously troubling conclusion that will confound many expectations. Scenes focalized through a single character’s perspective enrich the cast personalities, and Jordie’s emotional tug-of-war between late good guy Derek and live brooding Ronan adds a dash of romantic angst. Love and murder: a great combination for teen reading on a cold winter’s night."

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"This teen thriller includes suspense, mystery, and intrigue...Jordie’s actions are true to life and will resonate with readers."

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"[An] intriguing whodunit...The story is well-paced and entices the reader to find out the truth."

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"A suspenseful, fast-moving mystery that will hook readers from the very first page...The novel moves like a film, cutting rapidly from scene to scene and character to character. The text is masterfully executed, with all the hints and red herrings a good mystery should offer...The romantic conflicts at the centre of the novel may draw in YA readers who wouldn't normally read a mystery, and the breakneck pace should keep them engaged. Avid mystery fans may connect the plot details before the characters themselves do, but even then various twists and turns will keep readers guessing right up to the last sentence and maybe after. Norah McClintock is a talented writer, and this taut, deftly plotted novel is an excellent choice for mystery readers, readers who prefer a high-action plot, and anyone who enjoys a well- told story."

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"There is plenty of action during the investigation, though the pacing puts most of the tension near the end with the plot twist. The ending allows the reader to make up his or her own mind about what truly happened that night...The action, untrustworthy main characters, and short chapters will keep readers turning the pages of this mystery."

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"Derek becomes such a fully rounded character that the reader comes to feel his absence as acutely as if they knew him. When the resolution arrives...it is surprising and satisfying, the hallmark of a well-written mystery."

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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 »Alone at 90 Foot«

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Alone at 90 Foot

Orca Book Publishers


Fourteen year old Pamela Collins is struggling to come to terms with her mother's death. Somewhat shy, Pamela is thoughtful, full of passion, often funny and sometimes tearful as she learns to cope with the emotional overload the tragedy has brought to her life. Her favourite things include walking alone in Lynn Canyon Park, the art of Emily Carr, and a certain boy with a "wicked grin." At the moment she dislikes her English teacher, shopping and being singled out for special treatment because of her mother’s death. Pamela is tall and slim and mostly uncomfortable with her rapidly changing body. She is unsure of herself and unsure of the loyalty of her friends.

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Katherine Holubitsky's first novel, Alone at Ninety Foot, (Orca), won the CLA Book of the Year for Young Adults and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award. Katherine lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Impact«

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Impact

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Soundings


Jordan's brother was killed two years ago in what appeared to be a random act. Now, as the family reads their impact statements in court before the suspect is sentenced, a different story emerges. Maybe this was not a random act. Maybe Jordan knows more than he is saying. What was the impact of that violent act? And who set the wheels in motion?

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"Students, particularly boys, who are struggling to read, may be intrigued by this story of revengeful stalking, murder and betrayal."

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James C. Dekker is a first-time author and a fresh new voice in teen fiction. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, and, as far as he knows, is not known to police.

 
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