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Kidbits: For the younger set


“Twerp” by Mark Goldblatt; Random House Books for Young Readers, 228 pages, $16.99 Ages 9 to 12.

There’s a new awareness of bullying and the lasting harm it can do, and this fascinating book examines bullying through the mind of a bully who doesn’t really believe he IS a bully. Sixth-grader Julian Twerski has been suspended from school for a week, and when he returns, his English teacher offers him a deal: He can skip the class assignment of writing a report about Shakespeare and instead keep a journal and write about the incident that got him and his friends suspended from school.

Julian offers his account of what it’s like to be in sixth grade, worried sick he is no longer the fastest runner in school, the mess he gets himself into writing a love letter for his goofball friend Lonnie and the homemade fireworks that burn his friend’s eyebrows right off his face. This all sets the stage for the final confession of the ugly incident involving a defenseless neighbor and Julian’s growing awareness of the wrongness of the whole affair. This book was inspired by the author’s own childhood growing up in Queens in the 1960s.

Jean Westmoore


Celebrate Dad from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda. The Father’s Day event will feature an old-fashioned family concert at 1:30 p.m., crafts, activities and rides on the carousel. Cost is $3-$6. For more information, call 693-1885 or visit


Deep in the ocean, some bioluminescent fish turn on the lights to attract their next meal. Other animals use light to blind predators that try to stalk and eat them. Some species create light to blend in with their surroundings. Scientists really don’t know why some animals give off their own light. Some worms spit out glowing ooze, although no one can figure out why. It’s a mystery why tiny plankton glow when disturbed by storms, waves and passing boats.

– Time for Kids: Big Book of Why