"TouchBlue" by Cynthia Lord; Scholastic, $16.99

Eleven-year-old Tess lives on an island off Maine. Her father is a lobster fisherman; her mother is the teacher at the island school. But after one family moves away, the state of Maine says it will close the school, meaning Tess' family and others will have to move to the mainland. So islanders come up with a plan to bring in foster children so their school will have enough pupils to stay open. Tess' family gets 13-year-old Aaron, but her new foster brother isn't at all what she expected. Plus, the neighborhood bully does nothing but pick on Aaron and remind him he doesn't have parents or a real "home."

Cynthia Lord won Newbery Honors for her first novel, "Rules"; this book is based on her experience teaching school on a Maine island and by a real event when a community of islanders took in foster children to keep their school open.

-- Jean Westmoore



"Tower Prep," a live-action sci-fi series combining elements of "Lost," "Heroes" and even Harry Potter, debuts on the Cartoon Network at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Drew Van Acker stars as Ian Archer, who is in the middle of playing an online fantasy game when he wakes up in a strange dorm room at an academy for students with special abilities. (Ian's ability is to "preflex," or react more quickly to things than the average person.) The new show was created by Paul Dini, of the Batman Animated Series and ABC's "Lost."



Why is a toupee like a secret?

Because you keep it under your hat.

-- McClatchy Newspapers