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In the increasing tensions, mistrust and fear stirring in the town, Polly and Timbre Ann's bond of friendship is put to the test.
As seventeen-year-old Sam desperately tries to help her best friend and neighbor Jesse through aggressive treatments for a rare and usually fatal form of cancer, they find themselves falling deeply in love.
Overweight Wrenn Scott desperately wants to be popular and snag a hot boyfriend. Living with her single mom and younger sister, Karly, she lands a lead role in the high school musical, her voice for once overshadowing her weight. Pushing to get thinner by opening night, Wrenn's waistline shrinks as she learns all the wrong ways to lose weight from a new "it-girl" friend in the show. Meanwhile, her mom is falling for Phil, "a balding Channel 8 News-nerd"; her sister is wrapped up in her own share of middle school drama, and Wrenn's best friend has fallen for a guy she met online but hasn't even seen yet! Topping it off, geeky stage manager Steven has a crush on her. But Wrenn doesn't want to be seen with him she's holding out for a trophy boyfriend whom everyone will envy. By opening night, the old Wrenn has almost disappeared. After a crisis reveals her weight-loss tricks, Wrenn realizes there are much more important things than being thin, popular, or even dating a hunk.
After his father kills his mother, seventeen-year-old David struggles to take care of his two sisters--and himself--while dealing with his grief, guilt, and trying to fit in at a tough new school while hiding his past.
15-yr-old Mardie Wolfe is struggling to find her footing. While on punishment, Mardie is forced to go to the gym with her stepmother, Amy. At the gym Mardie discovers boxing.
Running for My Life is the powerful story of Andrea McKane, a fourteen-year-old who struggles to cope with her mother's schizophrenia.
The last place fifteen-year-old Willow wants to spend her summer is on a run-down former coffee barge in a boatyard in Rockaway, New York. But that's where her aunt is converting the broken down hulk into a floating concert hall and Willow has no choice but to help; her unstable mom has kicked her out for the summer. Willow's miserable when she sees that there isn't even a shower on the barge, and she has to deal with Craig, the leering hunk of a construction worker working with her aunt. The only bright spot is Axel, an older teenage boy living alone on a neighboring sailboat. Introverted and mysterious, he has the soul of a poet, a deep, philosophical mind, and loves Shakespeare. He's also scarred by a painful, disturbing past, and the two bond through their shared pain and laughter. But when devastating events threaten to destroy them, Willow and Axel struggle to save each other and themselves before it's too late.
Kendra hasn't felt safe since devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse began surfacing, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Kendra knows someone is always watching, following her and leaving menacing messages, and making her fear for her life. Kendra cuts to relieve the pressure; it's how she copes, along with her brilliant, expressive artwork. Her mother is too self-absorbed to listen, so Kendra finds support elsewhere: from her therapist and her art teacher; from Sandy, a family friend who encourages her painting; and from Meghan, a friend and maybe more. Will they ever learn the truth about Kendra's terrible secret? Scars is the story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.
The summer of 1969 starts off badly for 13-year-old Maya. Her mother has sent her to Seattle to stay with the grandmother she's never met; her father is reported MIA in the jungles of Vietnam; and angry Maya's determined to get back home, even if it means running away. But slowly Maya begins to adjust, first befriending an autistic boy -- and piano prodigy living next door, and getting her grandmother to adopt a cat they name Harry S. Truman. When Maya finds a trombone in the attic, she's mesmerized. She learns to play as her grandmother gradually unravels details of her past: Maya's grandfather was a famous jazz trombone player who died in a car crash, and her grandmother was once a top jazz singer who now only sings in church. After saving an elderly man from a riot, Maya adjusts to the prospect of life without her father, helps to mend her mom's relationship with her grandmother, and takes the first steps to becoming an accomplished musician.
Teen violin prodigy Cassie has been tiptoeing around her father, whose moods have become increasingly explosive. After he destroys her beloved and valuable violin in a sudden rage, Cassie, shocked, runs away, eventually seeking refuge in a homeless shelter. She later learns that her father, a former violinist, was physically beaten as a child by her grandfather, a painful secret he's kept hidden from his family, and the cause of his violent outbursts. With all of their lives shattered in some way, Cassie's family must struggle to repair their broken relationships. As Cassie moves forward, she ultimately finds a way to help others, having developed compassion through her own painful experiences. Written in lyrical prose, Shattered tells the moving story of how one girl finds inner strength through music.
Shawna Stone, 16, can handle anything from a Las Vegas hustle to skipping out on the rent. Scarred inside and out, she's survived with a tough, hardened attitude. Yet she's thrown when her mother abandons her in Vegas with only a bus ticket and the name and number of a stranger to call. Now this troubled, desperate teen finds herself on a Northern California horse ranch with Kay Stone, her steely, youngish, disillusioned grandmother, who overwhelms Shawna with rules and daily barn chores. Shawna will baffle Kay with her foul-mouthed anger and shrugging indifference to everything -- except the maltreated horse on the ranch next door. But it's worse than even Kay suspects: Shawna's driven to cut herself by that strange voice inside her head, which at times has been her only steady companion. As this unlikely pair struggle to co-exist, will they overcome their inner suffering to build a bridge to each other, and together find the strength to transcend the past?
Set against the backdrop of a child murder in 1930s-era Chicago, three teenagers lives are about to change dramatically. From different sides of the tracks, Zane and Fred forge a bond through their shared love of cartooning. But Fred quickly realizes that Zane has a dark undercurrent, especially when he violates Maizy, the sturdy but naive working class neighborhood girl whose lack of self-esteem and lifelong love for Zane overwhelm her judgment. Meanwhile, Zane's father harbors a shocking secret that only Maizy and Fred discover, and the events that follow lead all three teens to make difficult, life-changing decisions. Told with compassion and honesty from each teen's perspective, SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENED ON KENMORE unflinchingly examines love and loss, friendship and sexuality, all significant factors on the path to becoming an adult.
At sixteen, Star's life has changed drastically now that she's become the mother of a baby boy. To learn what's best for him, Star is taking parenting classes at a center for teen moms. But she's having trouble keeping up with the baby's demands, and her grandmother is threatening to force her to put the baby up for adoption. To top it off, Wilson, a popular star athlete, is in denial about being the father. He doesn't know about Star's terrible, painful secrets. But as Wilson's friends and family push him to accept his responsibility, he learns the truth about Star's disturbing past-- facts that change his life forever.
Ernie Dolan, 14, is plagued by the curse of the average. Nothing about him stands out - except his stutter. Only best friend Mike Rivers sees him at his best. Then, at a competitive basketball camp Mike excels while Ernie is -- average. When Ernie blunders in a pickup game, Rich Craig, obnoxious camp hotshot, nicknames him "Choke". This sets the tone for Ernie's first week. But he soon finds three new allies: bunk mate Albert Mann, a goofy genius and practical joker; Coach Petrovich, a 6'8" Russian who mangles the English language; and camp director Tim Sanders, the mentor every kid needs. Soon, Ernie and Mike are on the outs, as Mike hangs with Craig and the jocks. But things change dramatically as Ernie morphs from outcast to hero, risking his life to save three campmates from near tragedy.
Andy Crenshaw, 15, is about to have a summer he didn't expect. He lives in the shadow of his good-looking, athletic older brother, Brad, and they don't get along. Lately they only agree on their excitement over their upcoming trip to Hawaii. But the family's plans change at the last minute, packing the boys off to rural Wisconsin. They'll be stuck with their wacky,free-spirited aunt and uncle--on a farm with no cable TV and Internet. Things start looking up when Andy scores a date with Laura, a cute teenage local celebrity pianist, and even Brad's impressed. Laura's amazing: besides her late night jam sessions at a local jazz club, she's the funniest, little-bit-crazy girl Andy's ever met. He's shocked at first to see her in a wheelchair, but nothing stops Laura--her killer bowling skills leave Andy in the dust. Meanwhile, Andy and Brad share a series of misadventures and narrow escapes that move their brotherhood to a whole different level. It all adds up to a summer no one will soon forget.
Quirky, smart, and good looking, Zack Chase is a book-loving, talented hockey player. But he doesn't want to turn pro like his late dad, despite his mom's hopes.