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[From the dust jacket:] "Dan's mom didn't even ask him if he wanted to go camping with her boyfriend Mike and his two kids. Now he's stuck at muddy, freezing Baker Lake. The tent keeps falling down, the canoe tips over, and worst of all, Mike's kids are driving Dan crazy! Will they make it home in one piece?" This is a funny chapter book for young readers about kids who are forced to be together learning to get along with teasing, pranks, problems and surprises. The chapters are short.
Dan and his mother, Carol, live in a two-bedroom apartment. When Carol announces that they are going to have company for awhile, Dan is not pleased--it means that he has to give up his room. The company turns out to be Carol's friend Kay and her three-year-old son Jimmy. "Aunt Kay" is getting divorced and she needs to find a job before she can rent an apartment. Life is tough in such cramped quarters, especially since Kay is a chain smoker and little Jimmy is a very active child. Dan tries his best to be patient, but is frequently frustrated. Petersen has brought out some of the difficulties of single parenting in this story, but maintains a light touch throughout. (Grades 3-5)
A car thief isn't the sort of person you'd expect to find helping out in an animal shelter. But to make up for his crime, Kevin is sent to help Tracy and her brother, Luke -- and none of them knows what to expect. When heavy winter rains cause the town's levee to break, the teenagers are forced to skip orientation and help with the rescue effort. Within moments they're in a powerboat packed with sandwiches and supplies and out on the water. Their mission runs smoothly until armed thieves, caught in the act of stealing from a flooded home, kidnap Luke. In a heartbeat, the rescue effort turns towards Tracy's brother -- and unless she and Kevin can band together, there's no hope for survival.
TO: ALL OUR READERS From: Rob & Sara Subject: Our Story Rob: Don't worry. I'm weird, but I'm not dangerous. And I won't send you ads. Sara: The truth is, I couldn't bear to go back to the way things were before you read my poem. Maybe it doesn't matter who you are. . . . They've never met. They're hundreds of miles apart. He won't tell her his real name. And they have nothing in common. Or do they? From the Hardcover edition.
It's not a good day for James. The teacher is out sick. So the class has to have a substitute. Yuk! That's no fun. Then James' best friend, Ray, comes up with a great idea. To play a joke on the sub, they decide to switch seats. Then she will think James is Ray and Ray is James. But the prank stops being funny pretty fast. Still the awful day drags on. And the worst is yet to come. The next day the sub is back! How can the boys get out of the mess they've made? The more trouble they get into, the more you will laugh. And when it's over, everyone learns a little something.
No way does Greg feel in the mood for white-water rafting with his father and half-brother, James. Greg's father feels this trip will make Greg more adventurous and help him get over his fears. But the trip becomes a living nightmare when a rattlesnake bites Greg's father leaving him dangerously ill. There's no help nearby. Greg must take charge of the raft and pull together with James through the rough rapids. Every moment counts. They must save their father's life.
It's Ryan versus the river in a race against time to save his brother's life. When twelve-year-old Ryan reluctantly agrees to join his experienced older brother Tanner on a camping trip, he could never have dreamed this would turn into the most frightening day of his life. Ryan's no good at sports or outdoor stuff. He'd rather be home playing video games. But Tanner says it's an easy trip. They'll kayak down the Boulder River, catch fish, and roast marshmallows. But the river is higher than usual, and the kayaking is scary. Tanner isn't worried. But soon after, he's badly hurt in a kayaking accident, leaving Ryan alone and afraid he can't save his brother's life. He's only faced danger in video games. What good are games now when Ryan faces a real-life battle?