> SOMETHING TO READ
The Last Codfish by J.D. McNeill (Henry Holt, $16.95).
A Maine fishing village is the setting for this compelling novel about a teenage boy, nicknamed Tut, who has not spoken a word since his mother's death in a boating accident several years before.
"The Last Codfish" of the title refers to the declining fishing industry and Tut's father's conviction that any cod he catches will be the last. Tut's father is an alcoholic, so Tut is dealing with the loss of both parents. A caring teacher and Tut's awkward friendship with a chatty neighbor girl help in the healing process.
In her first Young Adult novel McNeill offers a poignant novel about about an adolescent dealing with grief and loss.
- Jean Westmoore
> SOMETHING TO DO
Check out the nature activities, crafts, food and other fun at the Reinstein Woods Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday at the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve at 77 Honorine Drive, off Como Park Boulevard in Cheektowaga. Decorate a walking stick and use it on a guided tour of the Reinstein Woods. Make a pop bottle birdfeeder to take home; get an upclose look at snakes, frogs, raptors and pond creatures. Admission is a $1 donation to Friends of the Reinstein Woods. Boy Scout Troop 500 will have a concession stand; exhibits will be from Beaver Meadow Audubon Center, Knox Farm State Park and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. For a complete schedule of events, call the state Department of Environmental Conservation at 683-5959, or visit www.dec.state.ny.us/website/reg9/reinstein.
> SOMETHING TO WATCH
Danny Fenton and classmates are preparing for their career aptitude test, and Danny decides to cheat in "Danny Phantom: The Ultimate Enemy" airing at 8 p.m. Friday on Nickelodeon.
> PB & WHAT?
Got a crazy idea for a new peanut butter sandwich? Kids ages 6 to 12 are invited to enter the Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest sponsored by Jif peanut butter. Five finalists will compete in a live event in New York City in March 2006 for a grand prize of a $10,000 scholarship fund and four $1,000 funds. For rules and entry form, visit www.jif.com. Entries should be mailed to Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest, Cohn & Wolfe, 292 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10017 by Nov. 15. (A simple recipe probably won't cut it; last year's top prize went to a Thai Peanut Butter Chicken Wrap with chicken, scallions, lettuce, "secret sauce" and both creamy and crunchy peanut butters.)