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August 2004 Newsletter August 2004
This Month on
Wrapping Up Summer With a Book
Special Feature: A NEW Series --- Missing Persons by M. E. Rabb --- AND A CONTEST TO Enter by September 14th!
TEEN IDOL by Meg Cabot
Reading Group Guides You Will Love!
Cool New Books for August
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 1,460 reading guides
Check out the Magazine Newstand. Read more about here. Learn more about the Light Wedge here.
Wrapping Up Summer With a Book
August for many people is Panic Month --- panic induced by required summer reading for school that has not been done. Depending on where you are in the country you either are in school already or headed there very soon.

I remember one summer being in the library in our town the night before school started. A boy walked in and asked where the sophomore summer reading titles were. The librarian pointed them out. He said, "I'll take them all." She said, "School starts tomorrow." He said, "It's going to be a long night."

I am sure we all have had our moments of procrastination. We hope that summer reading is not one of these moments for you.

Last night I spent time reading your posts to Question of the Month and Word of Mouth. I was impressed with the range of your reading! There are some great reading suggestions out there and I was pleased to see many of you reacting to books that we have reviewed here at

Lots and lots of news this month. For those of you with a few more weeks till school, we have books to fill these days. For those of you already hitting the books, think about a book to slip into your backpack to read on the bus!

Have a great month....

Carol Fitzgerald for (

Special Feature: A NEW Series --- Missing Persons by M. E. Rabb --- AND A CONTEST TO Enter by September 14th!
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.
TEEN IDOL by Meg Cabot
TEEN IDOL by Meg Cabot (Fiction/Romance)
Jen Greenley routinely solves other people's problems as her high school's anonymous advice columnist. But when a teen superstar comes to town and is outed while researching his newest film role, Jen's life turns chaotic. Reviewed by Carlie Webber and excerpted.
Read our review of TEEN IDOL here.
VEGAN VIRGIN VALENTINE by Carolyn Mackler (Fiction)
In this latest novel from popular author Carolyn Mackler, an unwelcome houseguest forces overachieving Mara Valentine to reevaluate her priorities --- with surprising results. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.
Read our review of VEGAN VIRGIN VALENTINE here.
Reading Group Guides You Will Love!
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 August
Teenage girls rule this month's roundup of cool new books --- though various people and circumstances are threatening their happiness and peace of mind. They include high school junior Jen Greenley, whose ordered life turns chaotic when a popular movie star comes to town to research a new role, in Meg Cabot's TEEN IDOL. And in Carolyn Mackler's third novel, VEGAN VIRGIN VALENTINE, Mara's summer plans are uprooted thanks to the arrival of her pot-smoking, sixteen-year-old niece. We also satisfy your craving for another R.L. Stine adventure with a preview of THE TASTE OF NIGHT, the second installment in his "Dangerous Girls" series featuring Destiny Weller and her twin sister Livvy.
Browse our Cool New Books for August here.
This Month's Reviews
THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY by David Levithan (Fiction/Poetry)
David Levithan's THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY is a book about love, identity and our interconnectedness as humans. It speaks to the idea that as long as our hearts are open, we are never truly alone. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

CONFESSIONS OF A NOT IT GIRL by Melissa Kantor (Fiction)
Jan (pronounced "Yahn") has a best friend who CHIC magazine picked as one of New York's "It Girls," an enormous crush on a guy she previously deemed a loser, and an equally enormous butt. She also has the power to make readers spray Diet Coke because they're laughing so hard (don't say we didn't warn you). Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

Sixteen-year-old Sally Jo Walker, aka Jody, is determined to make a better life for herself after she is abandoned by her husband at a gas station. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

THE ALISON RULES by Catherine Clark (Fiction)
After her mother's death, Alison has done her best to keep things under control. But when the charming and funny Patrick moves to town, her lifelong friendship with Laurie, who has been her mainstay, is put to the test. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

GANGSTA RAP by Benjamin Zephaniah (Fiction)
When Ray and his friends are permanently suspended from school, their headmaster decides to give them a second chance --- a chance to live their dream of forming a rap group. But this dream soon becomes a nightmare as violence escalates around them. Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

ttyl (Talk to You Later) by Lauren Myracle (Fiction)
Three friends communicate their woes and wonders about high school, relationships and other "teen-related" issues over instant messages in the fall of their sophomore year. Reviewed by Carlie Webber.
Read this month's reviews here.
There are clubs at schools for just about every interest. Why not one about books? This inspires our poll question.

Would you be interested in forming a Book Club at your school?

Not sure
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:

Who is the author who gets you beating a path to the bookstore or library when their latest book comes out?

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 VEGAN VIRGIN VALENTINE by Carolyn Mackler. (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!

Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend, and make sure to visit our other websites from,,,,, and

Our mailing address is:
The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107

--- Carol Fitzgerald for