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From the moment their romance begins in eighth grade, Winifred and Bernie are individualists. They pride themselves on being different, and have each other for support through the tough years of high school. So when they consider college, they send off for the same catalogs, promising never to separate. But Bernie's mother dies and Bernie more or less drops out of school, becoming an ordinary guy working away in a tire shop, while Winifred goes about as far from New Jersey as a girl can go: the University of California at Santa Barbara. College is a culture shock to Winifred, but her three savvy roommates teach her how to fit in. By the time Bernie catches up with her again, Winifred has become, well ... ordinary. Can they rediscover their true selves - and true love? Told from alternating viewpoints, with a sense of humor and a deep appreciation of first love, Valerie Hobbs's novel captures an endearing young couple's search for independence and identity.
After 11-year-old Carolina begins to make decisions for herself and no longer feels constrained by her mother, she is able to let her pet crow fly free.
When Charlie's parents announce that they are separating, he knows that even though they aren't saying that horrible word--divorce--it's only a matter of time. To Charlie's mind, his family is perfect, and he can't bear the idea that things won't be the same. "There isn't a darned thing you can't get done if you set your mind to it," his father has always said, and Charlie decides that it's up to him to change his parents' minds. He needs to do something big, something he would never do, to show them that he's serious. But his plan to keep his family together takes on a life of its own, and leads him further from his family than he'd ever have guessed. In this moving novel, Charlie encounters kindness, hardship and danger, discovers the hard way that divorce isn't the worst thing that can happen to a kid, that many families have unthinkably serious problems, and that for most kids, running away is a bad decision. He realizes that the problems which can't be fixed must be faced.
Eleven-year-old Toby Steiner wants to do normal things on his vacation. He wants to hike and race his bike down the hill. He wants to learn to fish out on the lake. He doesn't want to return to the children's hospital where his painful cancer treatment finally ended. When Toby starts spending time with Pearl, a spunky old woman who lives on a nearby farm, and Blossom, her broken-down cow, he sees all the more reason to keep the new lump on his side a secret from his parents. From Pearl he discovers the beauty of poetry, and from Blossom he just might uncover the meaning of life.
A powerful story of friendship tested by teen pregnancy, lies, and broken promises. Megan and her friends Kit, Mia, and Elaine made an eighth grade pact to be "friends till the end", but in their junior year of high school, Kit becomes pregnant and desperately needs her friends' help. Megan is determined to stand by her, but all the conflicts inspire her to research the topic of teen sex and pregnancy for the school newspaper -- and to re-examine her feelings about friendship, boys, parents, and even her First Amendment rights.
When 16-yr-old Bronwyn Lewis's family uproots itself and moves across the country to sleepy Ojala, California, Bron is caught off-guard by the effortless cool of her new classmates. In order to make it in Ojala, Bron will have to remake herself. And so she does, putting aside her studies to drag race, hang out, and meet boys. Soon she's involved in an intense love triangle -- with no easy solutions.
A heartwarming journey to self-discovery. When sixteen-year-old Sally Jo Walker, known as Jody, is abandoned at a gas station by her husband after he hits her, she summons up all the courage she can to move forward. With just twenty dollars to her name, she begins a new life in Jackson Beach, Florida, washing dishes at Thelma's Open 24-Hour Cafeacute; and sneaking into the cineplex at night to sleep. Eventually she saves up enough money to rent a cheap motel room. There she gets to know Effaline, and comes to see that here's a girl who is more alone and lost than she is. Jody is going to save her. And in trying to do so, Jody might just save herself. At turns heart-wrenching and funny, Valerie Hobbs's latest novel introduces readers to an unforgettable and surprising young woman who manages to break free of an abusive relationship and finds true strength and her "self of steam."
The sheep closed in around him like a big, woolly blanket. The puppy had never been so scared or so excited in his life. Soon he was racing, feinting, dodging - learning what it means to be one of the proud breed of Border collies, the finest sheepherders in the world. Then, almost overnight, his life is turned upside down. He finds himself in a series of strange places, with no sheep, his family gone. With nothing but the courage he was born with and a dream, he searches for the life he once knew, gathering names and adventures as he goes. For a short time, he's called Blackie. To the Goat Man, he's Shep. To Hollerin, he's Spot. There's one name that threatens to forever haunt him - Sparky, the name Billy the circus man calls him when he reaches for the whip. But there's another name that he is given, one that finally makes him feel at home . . . Known for her rich character development, the author brings all her skills to delving into the mind of a clever, philosophical, and hopeful dog searching for a home.
In the late 1960s, fourteen-year-old Cory's life is greatly changed by the sudden death of her father and her brothers' tour of duty in Vietnam.
A powerful follow-up to Carolina Crow Girl. Two years have gone by since the day Carolina and Stefan sent the crow they rescued flying to join its family. Now Stefan is on a plane heading to Oregon to visit Carolina, still his best friend, and he's nervous. Carolina's life has changed. Will she be different? What if she doesn't want him for a best friend anymore? Don't thirteen-year-old girls want boyfriends that are, well, boyfriends? His wheelchair gets in the way of that. Once Stefan arrives, he does his best not to let it get in the way of going out to sea with Carolina and the old fisherman she helps. And he doesn't let it keep him from fighting to protect an old-growth forest from loggers. He is determined that it won't keep him or Carolina from having as great a time as they had when they were eleven. He tries to keep things just the way they used to be. His heart is set on it. But is hers? Stefan is ready to take on new challenges and overcome obstacles. He's used to them. He just doesn't know how big they can get or what he will have to do when they come straight at him, engines screaming.
After her beloved Gran dies, fifteen-year-old Liv goes to California to live with the father she has never known and must adjust to his gruff ways and his life as an abalone diver, so different from her life in New York City.