Skip to main content

February 2005 Newsletter February 2005
This Month on

Pages Flying Like Snowflakes...

Reading Group Guide CONTEST: Win A NORTHERN LIGHT for You and Your Friends!

James Joyce Essay Contest


Cool New Books for February

Featured Website: has been updated for February Author Bibliographies

Oscar Watch 2005

This Month's Reviews
Poll: Library Habits
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 1,560 reading guides

Pages Flying Like Snowflakes...

February is the shortest month of the year, but there are times where it feels soooooooooo long. Monday we had snow, which just should not arrive on days when school and the office already are closed. Seriously, what is the point of THAT? As I eagerly await sunshine and warm days, I curl up on the couch --- and read. Ahhhh, if only turning pages was a sport! I would be so fit.

Lots of news this month including info about three contests --- with prizes for writing! So click down this page to see our news.

Our poll question this month is about how you use the library. Share what you do when you are there. We are curious.

Enjoy the full Snow Moon tonight. Even the moon is named after the snow. You just cannot get away from it in February. May your pages fly as fast as the flakes. And hey, I heard more snow is on the way for tomorrow...hmmm....there may be a Snow Day on Friday. I can hear the cheers now!

Have a great month.

Carol Fitzgerald (



Reading Group Guide CONTEST: Win A NORTHERN LIGHT for You and Your Friends!


Ever wanted to have a book discussion with your friends? Wondering what to read? Well, we have the solution. We are awarding two readers ten copies of the 2004 Michael L. Printz Honoree, A NORTHERN LIGHT by Jennifer Donnelly. The way we see it, we supply the books, you supply the friends and conversation, and you have your first book club meeting! We even have some discussion questions to get you started: - A NORTHERN LIGHT by Jennifer Donnelly

Here's a quick overview of the book:

Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when Grace's drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers that the letters could reveal the grim truth behind a murder.

Read more about our A NORTHERN LIGHT Contest and the reading guide here.


James Joyce Essay Contest

James Joyce Essay Contest

The American Friends of James Joyce and The Modern Word are hosting a contest where students in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades have a chance to win great prizes. All they have to do is prepare an essay that answers the question, "How has reading James Joyce helped me to think about my own life?"

Read more about the James Joyce Essay Contest here.


THE ROCKETREVIEW REVOLUTION: The Ultimate Guide to the NEW SAT (2005 Edition) by Adam Robinson

The new SAT is coming! Yes, on March 12th this highly anticipated test is going to be taken by students for the first time. What's the big buzz about? The new section on writing that everyone is trying to get a handle on. We have the perfect book for those of you who are prepping for this test --- Adam Robinson's THE ROCKETREVIEW REVOLUTION: The Ultimate Guide to the NEW SAT (2005 Edition). Not only will it give you basic test-taking strategies, detailed exercises and tips for the SAT test areas of reading, math and the just-added area on writing, it's also accompanied by a CD-ROM that gives students access to tools such as RocketScore, which is the only prep software that can quickly score a student's essay and provide feedback for improvement. Can you say 2400?



Cool New Books for February

February's roundup of cool new books features young people whose normal, everyday lives are significantly disrupted. In LAST SHOT, eighth graders Stevie and Susan Carol (reporters at the NCAA Final Four) have just 48 hours to figure out who is blackmailing a star player...and why. Meanwhile, in I AM THE MESSENGER underage cab driver Ed Kennedy becomes an all-important messenger after receiving an Ace of Diamonds playing card --- but exactly who is behind Ed's mission? And a serial killer walks among Manhattan's most privileged teens in GET IT STARTED, the first book in "The Party Room" trilogy.

Browse through the Cool New Books for February here.

Featured Website:

This Shakespeare website presents readers with a wealth of information on the life of William Shakespeare, including a timeline and a complete list of his works. It also features 15 brand new Shakespeare editions, which Bantam Classics will release this winter, and interactive games to help readers better understand the Bard's work. Don't miss the "Interview A Shakespeare Character" Essay Contest, which gives you an opportunity to win an entire set of Bantam Classic Shakespeare editions, which is open until March 1st. Your task is simple: conduct a Q&A with the Shakespeare character of your choice!

Click here to check out has been updated for February has been updated for February. What's there?

*New Guides for:
The Fifth Book of Peace by Maxine Hong Kingston
The Lord Is My Shepherd by Harold S. Kushner
Old School by Tobias Wolff
A Palestine Affair by Jonathan Wilson
Platform by Michel Houellebecq

Mother-Daughter Wisdom by Christiane Northrup, M.D.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The Perfect Pitch by Daniel S. Green
PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
Rosie Dunne by Cecelia Ahern

*More than 1,560 guides for book discussions

Click here to go to
Read a new quote everyday here. Search Click here to shop and support Author Bibliographies

Want to begin the new year by reading the books by your favorite authors --- in order? The author bibliographies on may help. This is information that is not easily found, but Tom Donadio, our Editorial Manager, updated and revised the bibliographies, complete with copyright dates to help you organize your reading.

Click here to browse through author bibliographies.

Oscar Watch 2005

The Academy Awards presentation is always a must-watch for moviegoers. To celebrate the big event, has assembled the movies being recognized by the Academy this year that are based on critically acclaimed and bestselling books. In addition, Newmarket Press has published six books that tie-in to 19 Academy Award nominations.
Click here to read our Oscar Watch 2005 feature.
This Month's Reviews

GIRLS IN PANTS: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares (Fiction)
Tibby, Carmen, Lena and Bridget are facing their last summer together before going to college in September --- four different colleges in four different cities, to be precise. This is the time when they need their cherished magical Pants the most. Reviewed by Amy Alessio and excerpted.

NINE DAYS A QUEEN: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey by Ann Rinaldi (Historical Fiction)
Lady Jane Grey was crowned Queen of England against her wishes at the age of sixteen before being overthrown nine days later. This is a tragic tale that will be remembered by readers for a long time to come. Reviewed by Renee Kirchner and excerpted.

LAST SHOT: A Final Four Mystery by John Feinstein (Mystery)
Eighth graders Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson have won the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's contest for aspiring journalists, and their grand prize is a trip to the Final Four in New Orleans. But when they overhear what sounds like a threat to throw the championship game, Stevie and Susan Carol have just 48 hours to figure out who is blackmailing one of MSU's star players --- and why. Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

I AM THE MESSENGER by Markus Zusak (Fiction)
Ed Kennedy says he has no real career, no respect, and has achieved nothing at nineteen. In this novel, which won the 2003 Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year Award, he answers an unusual invitation that transforms his life from one of triviality to one of worthiness. Ed's journey is simultaneously hilarious, bizarre, mysterious and heartbreaking --- and it makes for a stunningly good read. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

Born into a family of wealth and privilege in 1940s Shanghai, Chinese Cinderella is sheltered from the harsh brutalities of the Japanese invasion in China. But after enduring abuse at the hands of her cruel stepmother, she seeks refuge at a martial-arts school and joins a secret dragon society. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

24 GIRLS IN 7 DAYS by Alex Bradley (Fiction)
Percy and Natalie have assembled 24 different girls for their friend Jack to date in seven days. His task is to choose the one he'll take to the prom, in this funny book complete with mystery, romance, and much humorous ruminating. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

TRICK OF THE MIND by Judy Waite (Fiction)
Erin has a crush on Matt and breaks the cardinal rule of all magicians by teaching him magic tricks, not realizing that he in turn is using them to impress another girl. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

I CAN'T TELL YOU by Hillary Frank (Fiction)
In this unusual novel, a romance plays out in notes written in email and on calculators, on white boards, napkins, and even in toothpaste. Mature audiences will enjoy reading between the lines of this demanding but rewarding writing style. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

PAGAN'S SCRIBE by Catherine Jinks (Historical Fiction)
Pagan is now an archdeacon who must do all he can to save his town, and in the process he takes care of a lost young boy who above all else needs to be loved and accepted. Reviewed by Marya Jansen-Gruber.

LIGHT YEARS by Tammar Stein (Fiction)
Maya leaves Israel to study astronomy at the University of Virginia, running from the violence, guilt and memories of her past. Amid the day-to-day pressures of classes, roommates and fraternity parties at the university, she attempts to reconcile her Israeli past with her American future. Reviewed by Ashley Hartlaub.

Misunderstandings and miscommunications threaten friendships in this eighth book of the "Mates, Dates" series when Luke, a boy who Nesta has been dating, declares passionate love for T.J. Reviewed by Melissa A. Palmer.

Read this month's reviews here.
Poll: Library Habits

How often do you go to the library?

Does your library have a good selection of books?

What do you do at the library?

What do you ask library staff for help with?

Click here to participate in the poll.
Question of the Month

Here is our Question of the Month:

Name a book that a librarian told you about that you really enjoyed.

E-mail us and tell us what you think by clicking on the link below.


Post your reply to our Question here.
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 I AM THE MESSENGER by Markus Zusaks. (See official rules below.) To automatically enter to win, e-mail us your recommendations and ratings here:



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