Menace on Maui    by Chris Pono

Our heroes are high-school-aged kids who live on Maui: two girls, Amy and Eva, and two boys, Kevin and Rajiv. Kevin's older brother Kyle works as a bodyguard, and he brings the heroes along as sentries. Their job is to warn Kyle if any trouble is heading in the direction of his movie-star client. But they have to get involved to stop the attacks of some nasty paparazzi. The adventure features island life: whale watching, bicycling down a volcano, and visiting a real Hawaiian home.

"I enjoyed your novel very much! I liked all of the characters. I found the kidsí relationships with their parents very realistic and very refreshing. Actually, Iíd love to visit them in Maui. Your plot will be great for book club and classroom discussions because you use so many social issues: body shape of young girls, cancer survival, paparazzi, personal security, endangered species. I see so many interesting possibilities. And I liked the ethnicity found woven together in your plot/characters. Your book will appeal to the multicultural committees found in schools today."
Scottsbluff, NE

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and found the Hawaiian mythology and way of life to be intriguing. I'm recommending it to students right now."
Jerome, ID

"It's one of my ten favorite books of all time!"
Student, 12
San Diego, CA


Teachers Guide
Key Ideas & Details
Grades 7-8

Jake Went Driving    by Blair MacKenzie

Life is not looking so good for high-school senior Jake Novak. His mother died of breast cancer. His kid sister is acting out in strange ways. His dad is having his own problems. Jake is depressed and starting to drink. He could use some answers. He gets them from the mysterious Rolly Jones. The answers, including a shocking family secret, shake him to his core and alter his path in life—and the destiny of his family.

"This book isn't for everyone. But for that one kid you need to reach, who isn't turned off by the game of golf, it can literally be a life changer. An avid reader in my class was so moved by it that her father actually came to school to thank me for suggesting this book to his daughter."
Richmond, VA

"My friends thought I was nuts for reading a book with golf in it. But it wasn't about that. It was a story about a guy who lost his mom and was going to lose his kid sister and everything. It really made me think. I guess we can all change."
Student, 14
Lansing, MI


Friday Night at Colligan's    by Jin Matthews and Ramon Famosa

Want to read something hilarious? Look no further. Jin and Ramon bus tables at Colligan's on weekends. They tell their story of dealing with restaurant mishaps, eccentric employees, nasty customers, a monstrous dog, and a disgusting dishwasher. And then there's the teapot ...

"Okay, this is one quirky book. My students, however, couldn't agree on which parts were the funniest. The girls certainly didn't agree with the boys. But they all thought it was a hoot! Even some reluctant readers got excited about it. Imagine that: reading just for fun!"
Salem, OR

"I wanted to be part of their world. It would be funny to work with them."
Student, 13
Washington, DC