Jack Grammar, average American senior, has no date to the prom. Or so he thinks. Percy and Natalie, Jack's so-called best friends, post an ad in the classified section of the online version of the school newspaper. They figure it couldn't hurt. After all, there's not much in this world sadder than Jack's love life. Soon Percy and Natalie have assembled a list of girls eager to go to the prom with Jack, including one mysterious girl known only as FancyPants. He has just seven days to meet and date them before he will ask one special girl to the prom.
Kirsten and Walk, seventh-graders at an elite private school, alternate telling how race, wealth, weight, and other issues shape their relationships as they and other misfits stand up to a mean but influential classmate, even as they are uncovering a long-kept secret about themselves.
High school sophomore Liam jeopardizes his new position on the varsity basketball team when he decides to take a stand against his coach who is leading prayers before games and enforcing team wide participation.
Intellectually and athletically gifted, TJ, a multiracial, adopted teenager, shuns organized sports and the gung-ho athletes at his high school until he agrees to form a swimming team and recruits some of the school's less popular students.
Hal feels eerily connected to his comatose older sister as she hovers between life and death in a hospital. Hal believes his sister is trying to communicate with him as he tries to solve the mystery of her accident.
A selfish, unnamed 13-year-old narrator records his "diary" on a tape recorder. Hoping for fame and fortune, his mother forces him to volunteer at a soup kitchen, where he learns compassion in the struggle between the merchants who want the kitchen gone, and the volunteers who fight to keep it.
Fourteen-year-old high school student Michael "Storky" Pomerantz's journal describes his freshman year, from dealing with his mother's dating his dentist to attempting to win the heart of the girl he loves.
The summer he turns seventeen, Max Whooten is feeling off his game with no job and nothing to do, but after spending a lot of time hanging out in Manhattan, thinking about life, writing down his thoughts, and visiting his aunt in Woodstock, he develops a personal philosophy called "coolism" which seems to help turn things around.
Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie. But when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to move in with a guidance counselor and attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school.
In 1965, Danny's grief over the death of his older brother Beau is eased when a stray puppy adopts him, but he soon realizes that Beau is somehow in the dog, and sets out to make his brother's dream of seeing a rocket launch at Cape Kennedy come true.
Thirteen-year-old Toby, a prematurely gray-haired Pittsburgh Pirates fan and baseball card collector, tries to cope with his brother's drug use, his father's absence, and his mother dating Stanley the Food King.
Overweight, fifteen-year-old Tristan, who lives happily with his divorced mother and her boyfriend Frank, suddenly finds that he must deal with intensified criticism about his weight and other aspects of his life when Frank's popular but troubled, nutrition-obsessed daughter moves in.
When thirteen-year-old Josh's older brother, Max, is arrested for murder, the victim's sister leads Josh to evidence of Max's guilt hidden in an online role-playing game and Josh, who was conceived to save Max's life years earlier, must consider whether he shares that guilt.
When Thomas Peaceful's older brother is forced to join the British Army, Thomas decides to sign up as well, although he is only fourteen years old, to prove himself to his country, his family, his childhood love, Molly, and himself.
If Harlem high school senior Drew Lawson is going to realize his dream of playing college, then professional, basketball, he will have to improve at being coached and being a team player, especially after a new--white--student threatens to take the scouts' attention away from him.
During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.
Cyril, an overweight boy who is good friends with Rose but wishes he could be more, helps his best friend Nick woo her with culinary masterpieces which Cyril himself secretly creates. Includes recipes from the story.
After being assigned to perform community service at a nursing home, sixteen-year-old Alex befriends a cantankerous old man who has some lessons to impart about jazz guitar playing, love, and forgiveness.
After an injury ends former star pitcher Peter Friedman's athletic dreams, he concentrates on photography which leads him to a girlfriend, new fame as a high school sports photographer, and a deeper relationship with the beloved grandfather who, when he realizes he's becoming senile, gives Pete all of his professional camera gear.