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How I Found the Strong, a novel of the Civil War by Margaret McMullan (Houghton Mifflin, $15). Ages 10 to 14.

Ten-year-old Frank Russell, nicknamed "Shanks," is left behind on his family's Mississippi farm when his dad and older brother march off to fight for the South in the Civil War.

Frank has always been considered the weak one of the family, but the war forces him to be the man in the family, with the help of the family slave, Buck.

As he starts to grow up, and as he finds a new appreciation for Buck's help in the family's time of trouble, Frank makes up his own mind about the morality of slavery.

This novel offers vivid characters and a colorful picture of a rural backwater suffering during the war years.

-- Jean Westmoore
Hot apple cider is the perfect drink for fall.


2 quarts apple cider

1 quart cranberry juice

1 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate

Cinnamon stick

Stir all the ingredients together in a large pot.

Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat on to medium high. (You may need to ask an adult for help.) Stir occasionally. Once the cider is steaming, turn the temperature down to low or simmer to keep it hot. Ask an adult to help you ladle the hot cider into mugs.

To read other fun articles just for kids, go online to

The Washington Post asked young readers what's the best thing about being president. More than 360 responded. Here are the results:

Living in the White House -- 20 percent

Having your own plane -- 12.3 percent

Being the boss -- 9.7 percent

Being on television -- 5.5 percent

Changing the world -- 52.5 percent

Wanna know more? Go online to for more fun facts and games.

In 2002, Jimmy Carter became the only U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize after his presidency. Theodore Roosevelt (1906) and Woodrow Wilson (1919) were the only presidents to win the award while in office.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy won a Pulitzer Prize for his book "Profiles in Courage." Kennedy is the only U.S. president to have won the prize.

The 31st president of the United States, Iowa native Herbert Hoover, was the first president born west of the Mississippi.

Where is a lake deepest?

On the bottom!

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