Rankings are based on a Times poll of Southland bookstores.
*--* SO. CAL. RATING
*--* 1 The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket (HarperCollins, $10.99) Count Olaf continues his pursuit of the Baudelaire children. Ages 9-12
2 Eragon (Inheritance, Book I) by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $18.95) A boy and his dragon battle and evil king. Ages 10-14
3 Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy by Dav Pilkey (Blue Sky Press, $4.99) A brainy kid seeks revenge against Captain Underpants. Ages 9-12
4 Olivia ... and the Missing Toy by Ian Falconer (Atheneum, $16.95) Olivia obsesses over her missing stuffed toy. Ages 4-8
5 The English Roses by Madonna (Calloway Editions, $19.95) Four jealous girls discover a schoolmate's secret. Ages 6 and up
6 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $29.99) Harry's back at Hogwarts. Ages 9 and older
7 Dora's Halloween Adventure by Sarah Willson (Simon Spotlight, $5.99) Dora needs help getting her treat bag back. Ages 2-4
8 How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long (Harcourt, $16) A boy agrees to help a band of pirates bury a treasure chest. Ages 4-8.
9 Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin (Cotler, $15.99) A worm dodges bait diggers and plays with a friendly spider. Ages 6 and older
10 Halloween Bugs by David A. Carter (Little Simon, $10.95) Behind each pop-up door is a spooky bug. Ages 2-6