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Perfect by Natasha Friend (Milkweed Editions, $6.95 paperback)

Isabelle Lee is a smart, sassy 13-year-old who is struggling to deal with her father's sudden death.

She's also dealing with a little sister who likes to snoop and a mother who won't talk about her grief. Isabelle also has a secret: she is bulimic, meaning she secretly gorges on food, then makes herself throw up.

Through group therapy, Isabelle starts keeping a journal and discovers that talking about feelings is the only way to get back on the road to healing. She also discovers that someone may seem "perfect" -- but the reality may be very different.

Friend, who has worked as a teacher and camp counselor, won the Milkweed Prize for Children's Literature for this humorous, heartbreaking novel about the pressures faced by girls in sixth grade onward.

-- Jean Westmoore
Looking for the perfect outdoor spot to fly a kite, throw a Frisbee, picnic or just relax?Visit Delaware Park, the first Sunday of the month beginning May 1. The beautiful green meadow, on the Zoo side of the park, which is usually reserved for golf, will be open to the public for general park use. It's free!

Kids 12 and under may start practicing anytime for the Dubble Bubble National Contest to be held at Walmart stores around the country starting at 11 a.m. on June 11. Five finalists will be chosen to compete in national finals in August. Grand prize -- for the kid who blows the biggest-diameter bubble gum bubble -- is a $10,000 U.S. savings bond and a $1,000 donation to the Children's Miracle Network.

Why did the student eat his homework?

Because his teacher said it was a piece of cake.