Reading on the Run

Just for kids

Yak's Corner

August 02, 1999

Here's some (really) light reading to take on vacation, to the pool, the park. American Girl is publishing cute mini books packed with neat stuff. There are 20 different books -- including crafts, jokes, games and even baby-sitting tips. And these tiny treasures have a tiny price -- $1.95 each!

American Girl also has started pocket-size books of short stories from the American Girls Collection: Addy, Samantha, Felicity, Josefina, Kirsten and Molly.

No Mystery Gang fan will want to be without the slim paperback that shares the wisdom of Scoob and his pals, "Scooby-Doo's Guide to Life." And -- ruh-roh -- Scooby fans might want to track down "Scooby-Doo and the Snow Monster," the third Scooby chapter book for young readers. Both books are published by Scholastic and sell for $3.99.

For readers looking for something more, check out the new book, "Nowhere To Call Home" by Cynthia DeFelice (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16). After her father dies, 12-year-old Frances (Frankie) Barrow runs away, disguises herself as a boy, and becomes a hobo who rides the rails. This story takes place in the early 1930s, during the Depression, when many rich people became poor and many workers lost their jobs. As Frankie makes her way west, she meets dozens of other children who are far worse off than she is -- and she's the only one who has an aunt waiting for her in Chicago. This book about children from the wrong side of the tracks is well-written but sad. Ages 10 and up.

-- Janis Campbell, Cathy Collison and Ellen Creager

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