Within Cole Matthews lies anger, rage, and hate. Cole has been stealing and fighting for years. This time he caught Peter Driscal in the parking lot and smashed his head against the sidewalk. Now, Peter may have permanent brain damage - and Cole is in the biggest trouble of his life. He receives a one-year banishment to a remote Alaskan island. There, Cole is mauled by a mysterious white bear of Native American legend. But it is the attack of the Spirit Bear that may save his soul.
Cole Matthews used to be a violent kid, but a year in exile on a remote Alaskan island has a way of changing your perspective. After being mauled by a Spirit Bear, Cole started to heal. He even invited his victim, Peter Driscal, to join him on the island and they became friends. But now their time in exile is over, and Cole and Peter are heading back to the one place they're not sure they can handle: high school. Gangs and violence haunt the hallways, and Peter's limp and speech impediment make him a natural target.
When Petey Corbin is born in 1920, no one knows about cerebral palsy. After struggling to care for her frail infant who is often racked by seizures, Petey's mother reluctantly places him in an asylum. There, he is labeled an idiot and ignored. Few people look beyond his twisted body to see the intelligence in his eyes. Then another young resident, Calvin Anders, arrives in Petey's ward. As he learns to understand Petey's garbled sounds, Calvin becomes his spokesman and best friend.
"Difficult to find the right spot"
Dylan Barstow has finally crossed the line. After getting caught on a late-night joyride in a stolen car, Dylan is shipped off to live with his ex-Marine uncle for the summer. But Uncle Todd has bigger plans for Dylan than push-ups and early-morning jogs. Deep in the steamy jungles of Papua New Guinea, there's a WWII fighter plane named SECOND ACE that's been lost for years, a plane that Dylan's own grandfather barely escaped from with his life. In all this time, no one has ever been able to track down SECOND ACE - but now Dylan and his uncle are going to try.
Thirteen-year-old Josh McGuire knows an orphaned bear cub he's found will be given to researchers if the game warden tracks it to his dog house. Instead, he runs away with the cub to the mountains, vowing to protect it until hunting laws are changed. But the Montana wilderness is a dangerous place, and saving the cub's life may cost Josh his own.
They call Gabriela "Tree Girl". Gabi climbs trees to be within reach of the eagles and watch the sun rise into an empty sky. She is at home among the outstretched branches of the Guatemalan forests. Then one day from the safety of a tree, Gabi witnesses the sights and sounds of an unspeakable massacre. She vows to be Tree Girl no more and joins the hordes of refugees struggling to reach the Mexican border. She has lost her whole family; her entire village has been wiped out.
Twelve-year-old Koby isn't like the other kids in her class. She lost her right foot in an accident four years ago, and she is keenly aware that her classmates don't know how to act around her. The only place she feels at home is in her small boat, where she can watch whales play in the ocean. When Koby discovers a stranded mother whale and her baby, she realizes that their survival depends on her ability to keep them breathing through the night. But she is alone, and help is nowhere in sight.
"How about giving me the whole book?"
When guerrilla soldiers strike Santiago's village, they destroy everything in their path -- including his home and family. Santiago and his four-year-old sister escape, running for their lives. But the only way they can be truly safe is to leave Guatemala behind forever. So Santiago and Angelina set sail in a sea kayak their Uncle Ramos built while dreaming of his own escape.
Fourteen-year-olds Elliot and Vincent live worlds apart, but both dream of a better life. Learning to run the Montana ranch that he will some day inherit, Elliot dreams of being an astronaut. In Africa, Vincent must deny his thirst for knowledge of the world beyond his village in order to become a Masai warrior. Forced to quit school, his only link to the outside world is a short wave radio.