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AT SWIM, TWO BOYS Jamie O'Neill (Scribner, $15) You read Atonement, EW's best book of 2002. Now what? Read No. 2 on our list, this exuberant Irish novel about young Jim and Doyler and the Easter Uprising of 1916.

THE SOLACE OF LEAVING EARLY Haven Kimmel (Anchor, $13) Two little girls are matchmakers in a lovable first novel from the author of A Girl Named Zippy.

POBBY AND DINGAN Ben Rice (Vintage, $10) Pobby and Dingan go missing, which is tricky because they're the imaginary friends of this lovely novella's heroine.

LIFE OF PI Yann Martel (Harcourt, $14) A boy, a tiger, a lifeboat. Simple stuff, but Martel turned it into a Man Booker Prize-winning novel.

Originally posted May 09, 2003 Published in issue #709 May 09, 2003 Order article reprints
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