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>SOMETHING TO READ

"Penny Dreadful" by Laurel Snyder; drawings by Abigail Halpin; Random House, $16.99.

Penelope Grey is bored with her pampered life, living with her wealthy parents in a mansion with a chef, a tutor and no friends. She makes a wish, and suddenly her life changes: Her father quits his job to write a book, and the Greys no longer have enough money to afford the chef, the tutor, the huge house. Then a telegram arrives announcing that Mrs. Grey has inherited a house in the middle of nowhere.

The Greys arrive in Thrush Junction, East Tennessee, and discover they are sharing their big old house with a colorful cast of quirky tenants including Luella, who quickly becomes Penelope's new best friend. But the Greys also discover that Great-Great-Aunt Betty had taken out loans on the house -- and they are going to have to pay the bills. Penny wishes to stay more than anything, but are wishes enough?

This wonderful novel comes alive with the little town of Thrush Junction with its odd characters and welcoming atmosphere. You'll want to move there yourself!

Another book by this author: "Any Which Wall."

-- Jean Westmoore

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>SOMETHING TO DO

The YWCA of the Tonawandas and the Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda, continue the family film series with "Tangled" (PG) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $2. For information, call 692-2413.

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>WACKY FACT

What happens when you try to dribble a basketball without any air in it? Nothing. Basketballs need pressurized air to bounce. Inside a basketball is a rubber pouch, or bladder. When that bladder is filled with air, it gives the ball a lot of potential energy. When the ball hits the ground, the air inside the ball compresses, or squeezes, as the skin of the ball flattens slightly at the bottom. Once the ball hits the floor and flattens, it bounces back. As the ball bounces, it returns to its original round shape.

-- Time Book of Why