"Here Lies Linc" by Delia Ray; Alfred A. Knopf, $16.99.

Twelve-year-old Lincoln Crenshaw has just switched to public junior high school, after years of attending a tiny private school. When he has to pick a gravestone to research for a class project, he picks the Black Angel monument, a favorite target of vandals who supposedly met with foul play after breaking off the angel's fingers. At the same time, Lincoln is struggling to fit in with the popular kids at school and boasts that he can steal the key to one of the cemetery crypts, a boast that could land him in really hot water with the cemetery's nasty new caretaker. At the same time, his classmate uncovers a mystery involving Lincoln himself.

This nifty mystery, with themes of friendship, fitting in and losing a parent, was inspired by the real Black Angel monument in the Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City, Iowa, and the research about the statue is actually based on fact.

-- Jean Westmoore



The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda, will continue its Santa series with lunch at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by a visit with Santa, crafts and activities and a 1 p.m. performance by Matt James' Cool Music for Kids. Cost is $8 for lunch or $5 for just the afternoon activities. Reservations required; call 693-1885. For more information, visit



Football players put black grease under their eyes to make it easier to see the ball. The black grease is made mostly of wax and cuts down on the sun's glare. Players began wearing the grease in the 1940s. They burned the end of a cork, let it cool, and used it to color their cheekbones black. Today, some players wear anti-glare stickers under their eyes.

-- Time Book of Why