Best Book by a Local Author (Other than Barbara Kingsolver)

Kiss of the Bees by J.A. Jance

STAFF PICK: Best known for her enormously popular series about the widowed Joanna Brady, who succeeds her dead husband as sheriff of Cochise County, the prolific Jance penned this best-seller about the Tohono O'odham, artifact theft and a psycho killer. Darker than her usual stuff, but a good read.

OF MYTHIC PROPORTIONS: The works of Lucille Penner. "Squeak! Squeak! Is that the sound of a baby dinosaur calling to its mother?" Thus begins one of the most popular books by midtown resident Penner. She's been writing for just under 30 years with over 30 books published to date. Mostly they're children's readers and non-fiction titles like Monster Bugs and Dinosaur Babies, which has been in print now for over 10 years with Random House, with which she's been for the last 15. Her latest book, Ice Wreck, is about the Shackleton expedition, and 2002 should see the publication of Super Dinosaurs, about the world's largest bone discoveries. She also has a book called X Marks the Bone, which is actually about maps. So use a compass to find these smart books for your inquisitive children.

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