Deza Malone is living in Gary, Indiana, during the Great Depression. As the smartest student in her class, Deza frequently visits the library with her best friend, Clarice Johnson. When Deza's father, Mr. Malone, gets injured during a fishing trip, he loses his job and the Malones don't have enough money to keep paying rent. So Mr. Malone sets out for Flint, Michigan (his hometown), to look for a new job and a house. When they don't hear from him in a long time, Deza, her brother Jimmy, and Mrs. Malone set out to look for him.
Nicholas Mettleson is angry when he learns that he and his younger twin sisters will be sent off to spend the summer with their father's uncle in a small lakeside town in Ohio. But, once they get there, it's hard not to like Uncle Nick and his dog, Pistol. The summer seems to promise lots of adventure, from the spectacular view from his bedroom to Uncle Nick giving them sailing lessons on the lake. Nicholas soon meets a friend, Charlie, who can throw a crazy curve ball, and the two of them spend hours sailing together.
In the first book, Luce is a 14-year-old who turned into a mermaid after having lost everything she ever loved as a human. She soon finds out that there are other girls like her, rejected and unloved, who live in a mermaid tribe near her coastal town in Alaska. To get revenge on the humans that did them so much harm, the mermaids sing to the sailors and enchant their boats, causing them to crash into the coast and die. Luce joins the tribe and forms a new life as a mermaid.
Natalie Ng is the middle child of three, and her parents rarely pay attention to her. Super powers run in the family: her older sister has levitation, X-ray vision, and truth divination and her younger sister has the highest IQ in the Western hemisphere. So there's no question why Natalie's parents overlook her because she can only talk to cats. But, when Natalie's drama- and celebrity-obsessed friends, Oscar and Melly, notice something wrong with Easton West's (their favorite movie critic) blog posts, they need to step in and investigate.
Wahoo Cray's life in Florida is full of animals; his dad is a professional animal wrangler and keeps all their animals in the backyard. After Wahoo's dad is hit on the head accidentally and continues to have headaches and double vision, he cannot work and the family income drops. Since they need money, Wahoo and his dad reluctantly accept a job for a TV show called Expedition Survival! Derek Badger, the show's vain and selfish star, has to "survive" in the wild.