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|A Team Divided!|
7 & Up
A Team Divided! is a Ninjago book released in 2015, written by Kate Howard. It takes place during the Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu animated series, specifically between the events of The Titanium Ninja and The Invitation.
The story begins with an entry from the journal of Sensei Garmadon, who recounts Zane's loss in the final battle with the Golden Master and the uncertainty consuming the surviving Ninja. Some days after a memorial service for the fallen Ninja of Ice, his friends-including Nya-decide you have lunch at Master Chen’s Noodle House. Unfortunately, the meal soon turns sour, as Cole and Jay are still fighting over Nya’s affections, and Kai feels particularly despondent. After things get physical and they are thrown out of the restaurant, Cole and Jay storm off, and Kai declines Nya’s suggestion that they return to Sensei Wu's Academy.
Lloyd, distraught over these developments, goes to Borg Tower to visit Cyrus Borg. After saving him from a malfunctioning hologram, Lloyd is invited to bring the other Ninja with him next time to help test the new system. Jay, meanwhile, returns to his parents’ junkyard to discover that Ed and Edna are hosting a homemade robot fighting tournament. He eagerly joins in, only for his dinosaur-based creation to suffer utter defeat at the hands of a motorized toaster.
Elsewhere, Kai has taken a job at a steel foundry, but gets into a spat with a coworker. The two get into a hot sauce chugging contest, and Kai quits the foundry after inadvertently burning some of the other man’s hair off. Cole, heading out into nature, suffers the indignity of a squirrel stealing his lunch, only to discard it in disgust. Back at the junkyard, Jay is introduced to Ninjaaa...Now!, a game show involving physical competition that seems like a natural fit for him.
Kai pays Nya a visit at the academy, and they briefly discuss the tension in their circle of friends. Kai ends up taking a job at an ice rink, only to have another run in with the angry foundry worker, who challenges Kai to meet him at Yang Tavern. In Blackwood Forest, Cole falls in with a lumber crew, enjoying the hard work but feeling nostalgic for his friends. At the game show studio, Jay fails the Gauntlet of Humility but proves to be a hit with the audience. Outraged host Fred Finley quits, and Jay is offered the job in his place.
Kai arrives at Yang Tavern and discovers that it’s home to a Slither Pit where Serpentine, Skulkin, and humans gather for entertainment. He and his ex-coworker, Big Dan, end up in a match, but Kai swiftly achieves victory. However, the competition begins to appeal to him, and he stays, adopting the pseudonym “the Red Shogun.” Lloyd, discovering where his friends have each ended up, decides it’s time to get the team back together.