Emmy-nominated actors and real-life married couple, MICHAEL TUCKER and JILL EIKENBERRY, will return to St. Louis to headline a St. Louis Jewish Book Festival event this week. The former L.A. Law co-stars will appear Dec. 10 at the Jewish Community Center for a presentation, followed by an audience Q&A and book-signing. Tucker’s latest book, After Annie, is his first novel. He also authored I Never Forget a Meal, Family Meals and Living in a Foreign Language. For ticket information, call 442-3299 or visit stljewishbookfestival.org.

Paging Dr. Mackinnon…Washington University School of Medicine surgeon DR. SUSAN MACKINNON recently lent her expertise to Seattle Grace—the fictional hospital on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Mackinnon, who is internationally known for pioneering nerve surgeries to return function to injured arms and legs, was consulted by the show’s writers about nerve transfers and transplants for an upcoming episode. Her advice and surgery footage from the university’s archives may be used on a storyline involving actor PATRICK DEMPSEY’s character, Dr. Derek Shepherd, who suffered a hand injury in a plane crash.

Kudos to three Clayton H.S. students who have advanced in an international debate competition, making their school the only one in Missouri to advance this year. Seniors NOAM KANTOR and IAN TARR, and sophomore NATHAN JARVIS competed against 213 teams from 30 countries in the first round of the Bickel & Brewer/New York University International Public Policy Forum. During the next round, the three will email a series of essays back and forth with a team in Colorado. Their topic discussion stems for their initial research paper, Resolved: Adaptation Should be the Most Urgent Response to Climate Change. If they keep advancing, they will compete in the finals in New York in April.

Next week’s SAINT LOUIS BALLET production of The Nutcracker will feature more than 100 local ballet students during its 10-day run. The local dancers, ages 7 and older, are cast in a variety of roles, including party children, baby mice, lambs, toy soldiers and angels in the holiday classic that features music by Tchaikovsky. The production will be directed by company artistic director GEN HORIUCHI. Performances at The Touhill are Dec. 14 through Dec. 23.

On the shelves: Author, poet and former Ladue School District teacher SUSAN BANGERT-WOOD has released her new children’s animal book, Chances Are, with illustrations by Jack Foster. The book features aardvarks, komodo dragons and other creatures doing zany things. In other local literary news, former kindergarten teacher DOSS MARGIOTTA of Town & Country has written a children’s book, Molly Green Likes Worms. The young grandmother recently held a book-signing to promote the book, which encourages youngsters and their parents to think ‘green’ and appreciate nature. Among those attending the book-signing were Laurie Westfall, Ellie Jones and Joe Fresta.