“The Winter of the Robots” by Kurtis Scaletta; Alfred A. Knopf, $16.99. Ages 10 and up.

This fabulous new adventure from the author of “Mudville” and “Mamba Point” takes the battling robots of the school science fair and cranks them up several levels. Jim is tired of being overshadowed by his brilliant robot-obsessed friend Oliver, so he chooses someone else to be his partner for the school science fair project: a girl named Rocky who wants to use Jim’s dad’s high-tech cameras to film otters who live by the river near an old junkyard. The junkyard is also near the ruins of a Nomicon plant destroyed by fire years before, a fire in which Oliver’s father died.

But the hidden cameras seem to show something strange going on, a robot that looks like a lizard or dinosaur. Then a classmate trying to steal one of the cameras gets knocked out by a Taser and almost freezes to death. What is really going on at the old Nomicon plant, and can Jim and his friends find a way to outwit the threat?

Scaletta’s book has everything: mystery, suspense, great characters, even a touch of romance. And it stars kids who are all whizzes at computer programming.

– Jean Westmoore


The Lego Club, for kids ages 5 to 12, will meet from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday in the West Room on the main floor of the Central Library, Lafayette Square. For more information, call 858-8900 or visit


Eye twitching is really annoying. It can happen when you’re reading a book or talking to a friend. Researchers say eye twitching is caused by muscle spasms in the eyelid. These spasms may be brought on by stress or physical eye strain.

– Time for Kids Big Book of Why