SOMETHING TO READ
Makeovers by Marcia (Claudia Mills, Farrar Straus Giroux, $16).
Eighth grader Marcia Faitak is pretty and popular, but that doesn't mean that waking up with a pimple and hitting 110 on the bathroom scale won't ruin her day. Not only that, Alex Ryan hasn't asked her to go with him to the big dance.
Then a teacher gets the bright idea of assigning community service, and Marcia suggests a project giving makeovers to old ladies at the nursing home. Little does she know that the ladies will have an answer to her biggest problem!
Mills has written several novels about the kids from West Creek Middle School. She creates charming characters and interesting school dilemmas. This book is both heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny. For instance: "Marcia knew that no boy was even thinking of asking a girl to the dance yet. It would take some serious, but subtle, manipulating by the girls to plant the seed of that thought in the dry, stony soil of an eighth-grade boy's brain."
-- Jean Westmoore
VOTE FOR BOOKS!
Kids 8 to 14 are urged to vote for their three favorite books in this year's Kids Choice Book Awards of the Buffalo Alliance for Education. Go online to www.buffaloalliance.org/?option=com_kids_choice and pick from a long list that includes everything from Lemony Snicket titles to Louis Sachar's "Holes." Voting ends Feb. 24.
YOU AND MONEY
Can money buy happiness or make you popular? Kids 8 to 12 have some interesting thoughts on the importance of money.
Percentage saying money is "very important" for:
Good education, 61 percent
Succeeding in life, 42 percent
Being happy, 24 percent
Looking good, 18 percent
Making friends, 12 percent
Finding a spouse, 9 percent
-- Washington Post from Harris Interactive
What do you call a dinosaur who's been left in the rain?