“The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons” by Barbara Mariconda; Katharine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, $16.99.

This novel, set on the Maine coast in 1906, has a terrifying beginning. Young Lucy Simmons is sailing with her parents on a picnic outing when a fog rolls in, a distress call comes from another boat – and tragedy results.

Now an orphan, Lucy finds she has been left in the care of her Aunt Prudence, an adventurer and world traveler who can’t be reached. So a judge places Lucy in the temporary care of her nasty Uncle Victor and his wife and they come to stay in the big old house on the seacoast – and make life miserable for Lucy, refusing to allow her to check for mail, threatening to get rid of her dog. Then a mysterious woman arrives to take Lucy off to school. But why is Victor practicing Aunt Prudence’s handwriting? What does he have planned for Lucy?

This novel ends in a dramatic and surprising way, signaling the author’s plans for a sequel.

– Jean Westmoore


“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” will be presented at the Theatre of Youth, 203 Allen St., beginning Friday. Tickets are $24-$26. A holiday brunch will be held at noon Sunday at Quaker Bonnet, 175 Allen St., in conjunction with the show. For show times and other information, visit or call 884-4400, Ext. 304.


The sun is a big ball of super-heated gas that generates as much energy every second as all the power plants in Earth could produce in about 2 million years. The sun gets its enormous energy through fusion, a nuclear reaction that joins together the nuclei of atoms. Fusion takes place deep inside the sun at temperatures of 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. Fusion converts hydrogen to helium and releases energy, which makes the sun very bright and able to give off so much light and heat.

– Time Book of Why