Sara's life has always flowed smoothly, like the gliding swans on the lake, until her little brother Charlie disappears. Then Sara is forced to see her life in a whole new way.
"Read well, chapter confusion"
When you're a pinball, life is a risky game, especially for three adolescent children placed in a foster home. Their hard-won defenses are firmly in place as these three uneasy strangers meet their foster parents. For each of these children who were failed by their families, caring for others is so scary it hurts. No one has been in control. But as their daily lives become dotted with fried chicken dinners, puppies, and birthdays, they begin to hope that even pinballs can be winners.
Tom dislikes spending the summer on his aunt's farm until he discovers a black fox in the forest and tracks her to her den.
When he builds his raft, a 12-year-old boy never dreams that it will serve as the sole means of escape for him and his grandmother when hostile Indians threaten their prairie cabin.
When Junior Blossom wakes up in the hospital, his last memory is of crouching on the barn roof with cloth wings tied to his arms, and of Maggie and Vern in the yard below, urging him to fly. That had been just before Junior spotted a police car approaching the farm in a cloud of dust. Meanwhile Pap, the children's grandfather, sits in disgrace in the city jail. He was arrested for disturbing the peace after his pickup truck accidentally dumped 2,147 beer and soda cans (worth $107.35) on Spring Street. With their mother away on the rodeo circuit, it's up to Maggie and Vern to find a way to rescue Pap and Junior.
Mad Mary rescues Junior Blossom from a cage and brings him back to her cave, thinking he was being abused. A search by the entire family ensues.
Junior Blossom has created the most spectacular invention of all time: a homemade UFO. The Green Phantom took all of the garbage bags and Day-Glo paint Junior could find, but now it requires one more very special ingredient. Although Junior needs help, his family seems too busy to care about him. Then when Pap and his dog, Mud, don't come home from town, the Blossoms are pulled apart even farther. Are Pap and Mud in serious trouble? Can a Blossom promise bring everyone back together again?
For the Blossom family it's the best day of their lives -- and the worst. Maggie, out west with her mother, is about to become the newest Blossom on the rodeo circuit. And now that the rain has finally stopped, Junior can at last visit his friend Mad Mary in her cave in the woods.
Together with her best friend and reluctant sidekick Meat, Herculeah Jones meets a famous mystery author, Mathias King, aka The Murder King. King's novels mirror gruesome, real-life murders - particularly A Slash of Life, which is about an unsolved local stabbing. Many people believe Mathias King knows too much. Could he be responsible for the crime? With a little help from Meat, Herculeah's sure she can find out.
"loved the book but..."
The first volume of Newbery award winners from the bookshelf of Penguin Young Readers Group.
This summer is turning out to be the most confusing time of 14-year-old Sara Godfrey’s life. Up until now, things have flowed as smoothly and peacefully as the swans gliding across the lake. But suddenly, Sara feels like things are going wrong. She wants to fly away from everyone—her popular sister, her bossy aunt, and her beloved, mentally retarded brother Charlie. Then one night, Charlie disappears. In Sara’s long and frantic search for her brother, her own problems seem small and unimportant. And before the night is over, she realizes that sometimes you don’t know what matters most in your life—until you almost lose it. For over 20 years, The Summer of the Swans has captivated young adults across the nation with its gentle power and poignant drama. The winner of the prestigious Newbery Medal, it is a contemporary classic from one of the most popular authors of young adult fiction.
At the eerie Hunt mansion, Herculeah Jones has been reading aloud to Lionus Hunt, an elderly stroke victim who can only communicate by blinking his eyes (once for yes, twice for no). Mr. Hunt seems to be trying to tell Herculeah something, but his gruff nurse won't allow her to ask any questions.
Amen "Amie" McBee, the youngest of five sisters, gobbles up words the way other children gobble up sweets. She couldn't be more different from her elder twin sisters Arabella and Annabella, called the Bellas. The mischievous Bellas constantly frighten Amen with stories of Mr. Tominski, the old recluse who lives in the woods nearby and mysteriously tends to a flock of doves.
All her life, Boo has wanted a real live dinosaur to follow her home - and today, one did. There is only one problem - no one else can see Boo's dinosaur. Boo's older brother Sammy certainly won't put up with these crazy antics.
When Herculeah Jones's best friend, Meat, decides to take a comedy class, he just expects to get a few laughs. But then he discovers a dead body in the bathroom, and realizes that there's nothing funny about murder. Things can't get any worse - until the body disappears! Meat needs Herculeah's help to uncover the clues, but she's busy investigating a case of her own - one that might just change Meat's life forever!
Mystery is in Herculeah Jones's blood. How could it not be, with a father on the police force and a mother who's a private eye? So when Herculeah notices a man hanging around the "Dead Oaks" mansion, she can't resist doing some investigating of her own. Legend has it the old estate was the site of a murder, and now it looks like there's something even more nefarious going on. Can Herculeah crack the case before the mystery man closes in on her?
Herculeah Jones finds herself in the middle of another mystery when her best friend, Meat, barely escapes a hitman's bullet. Someone must have mistaken Meat for someone else. But who? Herculeah is determined to solve the mystery, before the assassin comes after her!
When Herculeah Jones discovers a letter in her secondhand coat, she instantly recognizes it as a cry for help. It doesn't take Herculeah long to uncover the clues and track down the truth. But what Herculeah doesn't realize is that someone is stalking her - someone who would kill to keep the truth under wraps.
Herculeah Jones and her bumbling pal, Meat, investigate the murder of a palm reader.
"I loved it"
This collection, including The Summer of the Swans, features three Byars classics.