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Shakespeare's Secret by Elise Broach (Henry Holt, $16.95).

Did William Shakespeare really write those plays?

Did a rare diamond really belong to an English queen?

Would a loving father ever really name his daughter Hero?

This entertaining mystery novel from a brand-new author includes a literary puzzle about the true authorship of Shakespeare's plays but the best thing about it is the girl named Hero and her difficulty dealing with her weird name and her popular big sister and the hard time she has adapting to her new school -- until she makes friends with a popular eighth grade boy.

The plot may tie up a bit too neatly at the end, but it's still a fun read.

Brett Helquist, illustrator of the Unfortunate Events series, did the nifty cover illustration.

-- Jean Westmoore


Physical comedy artists Greg Tarlin and Kristi Heath employ giant props, popular toys and traditional circus gear in "Fizzical Fizzicks," a laugh-a-minute performance about the science of motion at the Taylor Theater of the Kenan Center, 433 Locust St., Lockport, at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A juggling workshop for children 5 and up, accompanied by an adult, will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday. Workshop fee includes a casual dinner and tickets to the 7 p.m. show. Price for adults is $25; children $15. Call 433-2617.


American kids watch an average of almost three hours of television a day -- which adds up to 1,023 hours a year, more time than they spend in school! Maple West Elementary is among many schools, libraries and groups urging Americans to join TV Turnoff Week (and to put away the Gameboy and XBox) from April 11 to 17, and to read or play outside instead. Go to for more information.


Lancaster High School's Carnival Kids Steel Orchestra will host its annual Island Night Dance from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Knights of Columbus, Father John Schaus Hall, at 6114 Broadway, Lancaster. For tickets, call 681-8810.