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KID BITS

SOMETHING TO READ

Fair Weather by Richard Peck; Dial, $16.99, ages 10 and up.

The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 -- with its newfangled hamburgers, its giant Ferris wheel and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show -- is the setting for this hilarious new book for readers 10 and up.

Just as he did in his award-winning "A Long Way from Chicago and "A Year Down Yonder," Peck finds high humor in the contrast between city and country-dweller and milks it for all it's worth. This time the city-dweller is Aunt Euterpe, a lonely widow who is browbeaten by her servants; the country dwellers are her fearless, squirrel-skinning teenage nieces and nephew from rural Illinois who show up in brand-new duds with their loudmouth Grandpa at Euterpe's invitation to visit the fair.

Several historical figures of the day, including actress Lillian Russell, make appearances in Peck's fun story.

-- Jean Westmoore

Mini ha-ha

Mother: Remember, son, life is a game. It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play.

Son: Yeah ...

Mother: So, what are you going to do today?

Son: Forfeit.

SOMETHING TO WATCH

Michael Blake, 12, an 8th grader at Ss. Peter Paul School of Hamburg, is among the 15 brainy kids age 10 to 12 from around the country competing in a "Back to School" edition of "Jeopardy!" this week. Michael's segment of the show airs Thursday. The winner of each show gets to keep the money won with a minimum guarantee of $5,000; the other two contestants each got a $1,000 shopping spree at HSN.com.

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