Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On... Kids' Books

UPDATED 07/21/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/21/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

Now that the youngsters have read Harry Potter (and lent it to you), here are some other treats for the 8-12 range:

•Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng. Orphaned Molly Moon stumbles across the book in the title and ends up mesmerizing audiences on Broadway, but an evil professor follows. (HarperCollins, $16.99)

Stop the Train! by Geraldine McCaughrean. In tum-of-the-20th-century Oklahoma Territory, a small town could be ruined if the railroad continues to bypass it. (HarperCollins, $16.99)

The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter. A 12-year-old ballplayer joins a legendary outfielder to save a ballpark from developers. (Philomel, $17.99)

Ruby Electric by Theresa Nelson. This contemporary novel begins in an LA cafe, where 12-year-old Ruby waits for her policeman dad, who never appears. (Richard Jackson/Atheneum, $16.95)

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. The first two volumes in a planned quintet follow three siblings who discover a guide to a faerie realm. (Simon & Schuster, $9.95 each)

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. A 12-year-old boy and girl search for the mystery behind the falling supply of electricity in a subterranean city kept in the dark by its rulers. (Random House, $15.95)

Varjak Paw by SF Said, illustrated by Dave McKean. Indoor cat Varjak Paw must venture out and master a Zen-like practice to save his family in this allegorical adventure. (David Pickling/Random House, $16.95)

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