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Kid Bits


The Dragons of Ordinary Farm by Tad Williams & Deborah Beale; pictures by Greg Swearingen; HarperCollins ($16.99)

When Tyler and Lucinda get stuck spending their summer vacation on a farm with their ancient uncle Gideon, they're expecting to see cows and pigs.

So they're a little surprised to find a dragon, unicorns, a flying monkey and a demon squirrel among other strange creatures and people.

Harry Potter fans may want to check out this terrific new fantasy series, which includes enough realistic ingredients and plot twists -- including time travel -- to keep readers turning the pages. It also features very interesting villains in the form of young Colin and his spooky mother, Patience Needle.

-- Jean Westmoore


From now through Nov. 2, kids can submit their favorite photos that they snapped to the 2009 National Geographic International Photography Contest for Kids. There are four categories: People, Animals, Scenery and Humor. The grand prize winner gets a trip to National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C. You can find out more at the contest Web site:


Our book club selection for fall is "Theft at George Eastman House: A New York State Adventure" by Sally Valentine (paperback is available from North Country Books Inc. for $9.95). Readers 18 and younger are welcome to read the book and send a short (150 words or less) review OR write 150 words or less about a place in Buffalo or Western New York that you think would make a good setting for a mystery and why. Mail by Oct. 20 to NeXt Book Club, Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240. Participants will be eligible for a drawing for prizes of NeXt T-shirts, books or $5 Barnes and Noble gift cards.

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