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July 2004 Newsletter July 2004
This Month on
Summer Reading...
Special Feature: A NEW Series --- Missing Persons by M. E. Rabb --- AND A CONTEST
Books Into Movies Talks to Joyce McDonald, Author of DEVIL ON MY HEELS
New Reading Group Guides JUST Added!
Cool New Books for July
This Month's Reviews
Question of the Month
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win a Book
Links You'll Love
Word of Mouth
Question of the Month
Over 1,420 reading guides
Check out the Magazine Newstand. Read more about here. Learn more about the Light Wedge here.
Summer Reading...
July is one of the best months of the summer. No thoughts about school crowding in --- and lots of time to read!

We wanted to tell you about a product that we are WILD about for reading in the car, in bed and just about every other places where it's dark and you want to shed some light on a book. It's called the Light Wedge. WHOA...this is such a great reading light. Around our house it is nicknamed "The Wedge." When you use it the light only shines on the page of the book thus no one is shrieking, "Get the light out of my eyes" like you hear with other book lights.

It also comes in handy when you are staying in hotels (isn't it funny how vaca usually means the family is sharing a room, or at least you are sharing with at least ONE sibling). You can read while everyone else sleeps. See the link above for more info. BTW.... it comes in paperback size as well as hardcover. Picture reading even when it's dark on long car trips!

We know you love Meg Cabot. Would you like to ask her a question? Well, here's how you can do that. Meg Cabot, of the Princess Diaries series fame, will become the latest bestselling author to visit Each day from July 26 until August 6th she will visit the BookDivas online community to answer questions and talk with teenage girls from around the world about the joys of reading and writing. Visit BookDivas now to become a member, join in on the fun and pick up the first chapter of Teen Idol, Meg Cabot's new book. Signing up is free. Wondering if you have a summer reading list from school. And if so, tell us, which book you are most excited about reading. We're looking forward to hearing your replies.

Don't sneak away from here too fast though. We have a stellar lineup this month including a new series --- Missing Persons by M. E. Rabb --- and a Contest to celebrate its release.

Also, we have 6 new reading group guides including one we know is a real favorite --- THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS. May we suggest a one-book club book club meeting about this book? And um...say that FIVE TIMES FAST.

Have a great month....

Carol Fitzgerald for (
Go to to talk to Meg Cabot here.
Special Feature: A NEW Series --- Missing Persons by M. E. Rabb --- AND A CONTEST
Two teenage sisters from Queens run away to the Midwest and become private detectives in "Missing Persons," an exciting new mystery series by M. E. Rabb. To celebrate its release, is running a contest where a Grand Prize winner will win the first three books in the series, THE ROSE QUEEN, THE CHOCOLATE LOVER, and THE VENETIAN POLICEMAN, personally signed to the winner, and a Stila Lip Glaze. 10 runner-up readers will win a signed copy of the first book in the series, THE ROSE QUEEN.

Read about the Missing Persons series and details about the contest here.

Case #1: THE ROSE QUEEN by M. E. Rabb (Mystery)
Newly orphaned sisters Sam and Sophie Shattenberg are on the lam. They've run away from home with a big chunk of their dad's money to avoid their stepmother separating and controlling them. Sam and Sophie change their appearances and their names, and end up in a tiny town in Indiana, where they become suspects in a missing person's case. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

Case #2: THE CHOCOLATE LOVER by M. E. Rabb (Mystery)
In this second book of the Missing Persons series, orphaned sisters Sophie and Sam Shattenberg are living under assumed identities in Venice, Indiana. They meet up with Leo Shattenberg, who may be their long-lost relative (although they can't tell him). Leo hires the girls and their detective boss to track down a sweetheart missing for fifty years. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
Read more about the Missing Persons series by M. E. Rabb and our contest here.
Books Into Movies
When the days are hot and hanging by the pool does not feel like a great option, how about going to the movies?

Check out the newest summer flicks that are based on books to get another dose of the stories you love. And here's an extra special treat. Some of the films we've assembled have companion books that are based directly on the motion picture screenplay and take you behind-the-scenes at the making of the movie --- which means you can enjoy the story long after the credits stop rolling.
Read our Books Into Movies feature here. Talks to Joyce McDonald, Author of DEVIL ON MY HEELS contributing writer Carlie Webber recently spoke with Joyce McDonald, author of DEVIL ON MY HEELS, the moving story of a teenager in the late 1950s who raises serious questions about her hometown and the activities of some of her fellow citizens. In this interview Joyce explains the importance of setting in her novels, reveals the difficulties she experienced in getting her latest book published, and offers helpful advice to those who would like to enter the writing profession.
Read our interview with Joyce McDonald, author of DEVIL ON MY HEELS here.
New Reading Group Guides JUST Added!
You've been asking --- and we've been listening. You said you wanted more guides for book club discussions. Here is what we've added:

BEFORE WE WERE FREE by Julia Alvarez
HARMONY by Rita Murphy
SECRET HEART by David Almond
STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli
Go here to get our new Reading Group Guides for YOUR book club.
Cool New Books for July
A number of novels featured in this month's roundup of cool new books address important themes --- such as love and romance, friendship, honesty, loneliness and heartache --- making them must-reads. Those of you who enjoy historical fiction will not want to miss Henry Garfield's latest effort, THE LOST VOYAGE OF JOHN CABOT, and mystery/suspense fans will simply devour PREMONITIONS by New York Times bestselling author Jude Watson. We also have the latest updates to three of your favorite series titles, including a "scorching" new Buffy/Angel crossover adventure that marks the return of inter-dimensional huntress Jhiera.
Browse our Cool New Books for July here.
This Month's Reviews
HEART ON MY SLEEVE by Ellen Wittlinger (Fiction)
In a novel told exclusively through emails, instant messages and letters, readers follow high school senior Chloe and her friends through a summer of changes. Reviewed by Carlie Webber and excerpted.

THE KEY TO THE GOLDEN FIREBIRD by Maureen Johnson (Fiction)
Maureen Johnson's first novel tells the touching tale of three sisters and their journey, as they try to find a way to make peace with their father's death. The Gold family deals with their grief the same way they treat their problems --- silently. Reviewed by Kristi Olson and excerpted.

BEHIND YOU by Jacqueline Woodson (Fiction)
In this beautiful sequel to Jacqueline Woodson's IF YOU COME SOFTLY, friends and family must cope with the tragic and senseless death of fifteen-year-old Jeremiah, who is unable to let go of the connections he maintains to earth. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

BE MORE CHILL by Ned Vizzini (Fiction)
The "squip," a pill-sized supercomputer, transforms hypergeek Jeremy Heere into one of the cool kids. But Jeremy soon discovers that there's a dark side to having a computer inside your brain --- and it can have disastrous consequences. Reviewed by Carlie Webber.

THE LOST VOYAGE OF JOHN CABOT by Henry Garfield (Historical Fiction)
It is 1498, and John Cabot takes two of his sons with him on his second voyage to find a western route to Asia. Sebastian, who was left behind by his father, begins receiving letters from his brother Sancio concerning their progress. But when these letters stop abruptly, everyone is left to wonder what has happened. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

TOO BIG A STORM by Marsha Qualey (Fiction)
Brady Callahan falls in love and starts college, but these milestones take a backseat to the political chaos of 1969. The FBI is investigating Brady's brother, a soldier in Vietnam, calling him a deserter and a traitor, while her best friend engages in risky underground war protests. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

BLOOD ON HIS HANDS by Willo Davis Roberts (Fiction)
Teenager Marc Solie is on the run from a tortured past and an uncertain future in this new suspense novel from Edgar Award-winning author Willo Davis Roberts. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

B FOR BUSTER by Iain Lawrence (Fiction)
Nicknamed after his hometown of Kakabeka, Canada, Kak's goal in life is to fly with the Allied bombers in World War II. When this dream finally becomes a reality, he soon discovers that what he wished for isn't exactly what he expected. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

WHO AM I WITHOUT HIM? Short Stories About Girls and the Boys in Their Lives by Sharon G. Flake (Fiction/Short Stories)
In this collection of ten short stories, Sharon Flake takes readers through the minds of girls trying to define themselves while struggling to remain relevant to the boys in their lives. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

EMAKO BLUE by Brenda Woods (Fiction)
Emako Blue was destined to be a star. But even as she attracts new friends and catches the attention of an important record producer, the streets of South Central Los Angeles are never far away, where everything changes in one horrific instant. Reviewed by Melissa A. Palmer.

JASON & KYRA by Dana Davidson (Romance)
Popular basketball star Jason and brainy Kyra appear to have little in common. But when these two high school students are paired up for a class project, they become close and eventually fall in love --- though various obstacles are preventing them from living happily ever after. Reviewed by Carlie Webber.
Read this month's reviews here.
Where do you shop for books? (Check as many as apply.)
- Online
- Chains (Barnes and Noble, Borders, Booksamillion, etc.)
- Big Box Stores (Costco, BJs, Wal-Mart, etc.)
- Independent Stores (your local bookseller in town)
- Used book stores
- Other
- I do not buy books.

When you shop for books do you know what you want to buy?
- Yes, I always go into the store or look online knowing what I want.
- Sometimes I know what I want, but other times I am just browsing.
- I am a browser and just look to see what catches my eye.
- Not sure what I do.
Answer the poll here.
Play Author Trivia Games here. A new Quote of the Day every day.
Question of the Month
Here is our Question of the Month:

You are going to a desert island and can take just ONE book. Which one is it and why?

E-mail us and tell us what you think by clicking on the link below.
Post your reply to our Question here.
Search Search Bibliographies of many bestselling authors.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win a Book
This contest period, one teen reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of HEART ON MY SLEEVE by Ellen Wittlinger. (See official rules below.) To automatically enter to win, e-mail us your recommendations and ratings click on the link below.
Post your Word of Mouth comments here.

Have a great month...and make some time each day to read something you enjoy!

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The Book Report Network
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--- Carol Fitzgerald for