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KID BITS

SOMETHING TO READ

Hannah Divided by Adele Griffin; Hyperion, $15.99.

Hannah, 13, has a gift for math, but struggles with reading.

And when she's plucked from her country school by wealthy Mrs. Teddy Sweet to prep for a special scholarship exam, Hannah isn't sure it's what she really wants. It's lonely, far from her parents' dairy farm, and her new classmates aren't very friendly. The stress of being away from home and family and friends turns her interest in numbers and order into a raging obsession.

Griffin offers a vivid look at 1930s Philadelphia and the limited educational options open to a poor farm girl during the Depression. Her characters are fascinating, as is her depiction of what surely would be considered obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other books by this author: "The Other Shepards" and "Sons of Liberty," a National Book Award finalist.

- Jean Westmoore

SOMETHING TO DO

No two snowflakes are alike. You know that, but who was the first to figure it out? Find out all about Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley, the Vermont photographer who captured 5,000 snowflakes on film, in a Winter Wonders exhibit opening Friday at the Buffalo Museum of Science. (At age 19 he became the first person to produce a photo of a snow crystal, and he also was the first to measure a raindrop.). The exhibit is on display through Feb. 23. (Jacqueline Briggs Martin, who wrote a book "Snowflake Bentley," will visit the museum Dec. 7, where she will sign books after breakfast and lunch "conversation" programs. (Make reservations by calling 896-5200.)

SOMETHING TO WRITE

Here's your chance to save the animals! Kids 9 to 12 are invited to write an essay of 50 to 200 words answering this question: "What threatened or endangered species in North America do you most want to save and how would you help save it?" in the Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Kids' Summit 2003 essay contest. One winner from each state will be invited to attend a Kids' Summit in Los Angeles in April to discuss conservation. Blake Wichtowski, a 2002 Kids' Summit delegate from New York, proposed special gardens of blue lupine plants to provide habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly, and the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, with money from Mutual of Omaha, is implementing his idea. For rules and entry forms, log on to www.mutualofomaha.com call 1-800-754-9542, or contact a local Mutual of Omaha representative. Entries must be postmarked by Feb. 7 and sent to Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Kids' Summit Essay Contest P.O. Box 4320 Manhasset, N.Y. 11030-4320.

MINI HA-HAS

Here's a batch of tongue twisters from "Tricky Turkey Tongue Twisters" by Quinlan B. Lee. Practice saying them very fast!

Thanksgiving's for giving thanks for things we're thankful for.

A grateful group greets gathering guests.

Is dinner done? Beans boil, but buttered brown bread burns.

Careful! Cousin Cassie craves kids' kisses.

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