All her life, Addy's heard stories about the McMahon family curse. Her mom says the stories are just jokes, but Addy isn't so sure. In fact, she's got evidence. Like the fact that her archenemy saw Addy shopping for a training bra with her mom. Or that Jonathan, her mom's g-ross boyfriend, is moving into the guest room.
If only Addy could escape into the cartoon world of her journal, or hang out with her best friend, Jackie. The only problem is—and this is probably because of the curse—Jackie is now Addy's ex-best friend since one particular comic from her journal was somehow shown to the entire school. If only Addy could prove to Jackie that it wasn't her fault. It had to be that curse. Didn't it?
Mexico is a long way from Kalamazoo--and not just in terms of miles. Almost-thirteen-year-old Hayley Flynn is spending six months with her eccentric grandmother in the rural mountain town of San Cristobal. Her father recently deserted the family and Hayley's mom needs time to, as she puts it, "work things through." Down in Mexico, everyone calls Hayley by her new, more glamorous chosen name, Margarita and she makes new friends like Lili. Hayley and Lili even win parts as extras in a Hollywood movie being filmed in the town. But poverty and unemployment send Lili's father and other men from the village to Michigan as migrant workers so they can send money back home to their anxious families. Meanwhile Hayley is on the lookout for la fantasma (the ghost) that is said to haunt her grandma's house.
Zack, his dad and new stepmother have just moved back to his father’s hometown, not knowing that their new house has a dark history. Fifty years ago, a crazed killer caused an accident at the nearby crossroads that took 40 innocent lives. He died when his car hit a tree in a fiery crash, and his malevolent spirit has inhabited the tree ever since. During a huge storm, lightning hits the tree, releasing the spirit, who decides his evil spree isn’t over . . . and Zack is directly in his sights.
Ten-year-old Julia Gillian knows everything about her quirky neighbors, her Minneapolis neighborhood, even the inscrutable "claw machine" in the back of the corner hardware store. The one thing Julia Gillian doesn't know is how the book she's reading is going to end. It doesn't seem as if it's going to have a happy ending, and that scares her. But Julia learns a little something about fear: sometimes you just have to work through it. And though bad things do happen sometimes, having good friends and family around you makes life a bit less scary - and much more fun.
Ida May and her new best friend, Stacey Merriweather, are two peas in a pod. And when they discover a magical mermaid night-light that seems to grant wishes, they start a secret club—just the two of them. But before long, Ida suspects that Stacey is using the mermaid to tell some big lies . . . and to cause some big trouble at home. How will Ida set the record straight while still keeping her new best friend?
Fran is the best at everything, even if she does cheat and push a little. And who cares if none of the other kids want to play with her? Her unruly puppy Hercules is more fun, anyway. When the school play is announced, Fran knows she'll make a better princess than anyone else. But Fran's teacher tells her she'd better improve her behavior if she wants to play the lead. To make matters worse, her parents threaten to get rid of Hercules unless he shapes up. Will Fran be able to keep her puppy and the leading role? Acting like a real princess is going to be hard, but it just might bring surprising results.