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CHILDREN



Published: Sat, January 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



CHILDREN

Book on tape delvesinto ancient Rome

DALLAS MORNING NEWS

"The Thieves of Ostia" by Caroline Lawrence, read by Kim Hicks; Random House Listening Library (four cassettes, about four hours, $26, unabridged).

A children's mystery doesn't have to be cute or contemporary. This tale, set in Rome's ancient port of Ostia, tells a sometimes-violent story, but is suitable for a mature fourth-grader. The adventures of a sea captain's daughter centers around the unexplained deaths of dogs in her neighborhood.

In her adventures, the girl detective visits a cemetery, buys a slave whom she hopes to free and almost becomes a slave herself. The well-researched tale also touches on prejudice against early Christians.

Despite the mature themes, the good-spirited story celebrates the sleuthing skills of children. The British-accented narration adds a classic tone. Preteens will find this depiction of ancient Italy inviting and exciting.

Billy Joel book, CD

Singing star Billy Joel has put one of his songs to art with a lovely picture book, "Goodnight, My Angel," illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert (Scholastic, $16.95). After a busy day of playing outside, your little one may find this the perfect lullaby for sweet snowy dreams. A CD is included.

THRILLER

Hannibal due back

NEW YORK (AP) -- Readers hungry for a good thriller can get ready to welcome an old friend: A new Hannibal Lecter novel, "Behind the Mask," is coming next fall.

"Thomas Harris is the premier novelist of psychological suspense of our time," said Irwyn Applebaum, president and publisher of the Bantam Dell Publishing Group, which announced the book's release Thursday.

"Millions of readers in 25 languages have wondered how Dr. Lecter developed his particular appetite for evil. This novel will satisfy their curiosity."

Film rights for "Behind the Mask" have been acquired by the Dino DeLaurentiis Company, which produced the Hannibal movies, "Red Dragon" and "Hannibal."

Harris has written three previous Lecter books: "Red Dragon," "Hannibal" and "The Silence of the Lambs," which was adapted into an Academy Award winning movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. Harris is also author of the best-selling thriller "Black Sunday."




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