Here are some books that have crossed our desks recently.


"THE HUNTED," by Brian Haig, Grand Central Publishing, $25.99 (f)

Brian Haig uses his high-level government background (he's the son of former Secretary of State Alexander Haig) to weave a fictional story using the facts of the true story of Alex Konanykhin, a Russian who became very rich and then was beaten down by the Russian government.

The novel concerns Alex Konevitch, who was thrown out of Moscow University after starting a construction company out of his dorm room. Four years later, he was one of the wealthiest men in Moscow, known throughout Russia as "Kid Midas."

But he hires a corrupt ex-KBG director to be his head of corporate security and his world starts falling apart. Alex and his wife, Elena, are kidnapped and tortured, forced to relinquish their home, their business and their wealth.

They flee to America, only to discover that Russian law extends to the U.S. Alex needs to escape the combined forces of the Russia mafia and the FBI to rebuild a new life for himself and his family.

"THE PRODIGAL MAGE (Fisherman's Children)," by Karen Miller, Orbit, $24.99 (f)

Many years have passed since the last great Mage War. It has been a time of great change. But not all changes are for the best, and Asher's world is in peril again. The weather magic that holds Lur safe is failing but Asher's attempt to repair the damage leaves him close to death. It is up to Rafel to accept his powers before their land falls apart.

"THE WINDS OF DUNE," by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Tor Books, $27.99 (f)

A direct sequel to Frank Herbert's "Dune Messiah," this is the story of the survivors after the death of Paul Atreides. Lady Jessica and Gurney are on Caladan; Alia is trying to hold the Imperial government together with Duncan; Mohiam is dead at the hands of Stilgar; Irulan is imprisoned; and Paul's former friend, Bronso of Ix, now seems to be leading opposition to the House of Atreides.

More hardbacks recently released:

"Overcoming ADHD: Helping Your Child Become Calm, Engaged, and Focused ?— Without a Pill," by Stanley I. Greenspan M.D., with Jacob Greenspan (nf); "How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents," by Joseph A. Califano Jr. (nf); "Bird in Hand," by Christina Baker Kline (f);


"DINOSAURS ON THE ROOF," by David Rabe, Simon & Schuster, $15 (f, reprint)

Janet Cawley is recently divorced, has quit her job and is extricating herself from an affair with a colleague. She wants nothing except to find some peace and quiet. One of her mother's oldest friends, Bernice, comes to see Janet. Missing her old friend, Bernice tells Janet that her pastor has told her that the congregation will be taken in the Rapture and she wants Janet to take care of her dogs when she's gone. The women end up united in a strange way.

More paperbacks recently released:

"Le Cid and The Liar: Two plays," by Pierre Corneille, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur (f);


"FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY AND THE DODGEBALL BULLY," by Julianne Moore, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, Bloomsbury USA Children's Books, $16.99 (ages 4-8)

The Early Bird program at school means extra time on the playground for Freckleface Strawberry — except when it rains. Rain means indoor playtime and a bruising game of dodgeball with Windy Pants Patrick. What will happen when Freckleface is forced to confront the bully alone? Bright colors and simplistic and charming illustrations accompany a timeless story by actress Julianne Moore.

—Jessica Harrison

"ELLIE MCDOODLE: NEW KID IN SCHOOL," by Ruth McNally Barshaw, Bloomsbury USA Children's Books, $5.99 (ages 9-12)

When Ellie's family moves to a new town, she's sure she won't fit in. Nobody else likes to read as much as she does, and even the teachers can't get her name right. But when the students need someone to help them rally against unfair lunch lines, it's Ellie to the rescue. Fun doodles and a unique layout, plus bonus drawing tips make this an entertaining, interactive read.

—Jessica Harrison

— compiled by Kari Morandi