“Peanut” by Ayun Halliday and Paul Hoppe; Schwartz & Wade, $15.99 (paperback). Ages 11 to 14.

When Sadie Wildhack transfers to a new high school, she comes up with the perfect way to find new friends: Pretend to have a deadly peanut allergy.

And “Operation Peanut” seems to be working. Sadie has people to sit with at lunch. She even manages to find a sort-of boyfriend, who gives her a necklace with a peanut safely encased in bronze as a gift.

But things start to get very complicated. She has to remember to put on her warning bracelet after she leaves the house, and take it off before she gets home, so her mom won’t ask her about it. And what about that health form her mom was supposed to fill out for school? And the EpiPen she tells people she left in her locker? What if she invites friends over and her mom serves peanut butter as a snack? What if there’s a school bake sale and a teacher is convinced Sadie has eaten a chocolate zucchini cake with a peanut in it and wants to call 911?

This graphic novel is a page-turner from beginning to end, as Sadie learns there were probably easier ways to get comfortable with new people in a new place.

– Jean Westmoore


Around, and around, and around again! Dogs will often circle the bed or carpet two or three times before curling up and going to sleep.

Are they checking for bed bugs or snakes? Not necessarily.

Many times dogs are just flattening out their beds to get comfortable. Actually, this behavior is a genetic trait left over from when the dog’s ancestors used to dig their own shelters. After digging, the dogs would feel comfortable in their “dens” and plop down for some much needed shut-eye.

– “Time for Kids: Big Book of Why”


The Theatre of Youth will hold a Book Club meeting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main St. This month’s selection is “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl. The event will feature a reading from the book, an interactive discussion, activities and refreshments. Also, the final performances of “James and the Giant Peach” will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Theatre of Youth, 203 Allen St. For more information, call 884-4400, Ext. 304, or visit