Archive for the “Books” Category


October 12-18th is the American Library Association’s official Teen Read Week of 2008, and the theme is Books with Bite.  If you haven’t already read Breaking Dawn, the latest installation of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, this would be a good week to do that.

And, don’t forget to get your vote in for the Top Ten Teen Reads of 2008.  Here are the books that made last year’s 2007 list:

  1. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2006).
  2. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (Viking Children’s Books, 2006)
  3. How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles (Flux, 2006).
  4. Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever by James Patterson (Hachette Book Group USA/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2006).
  5. Firegirl by Tony Abbott (Hachette Book Group USA/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2006).
  6. All Hallows Eve (13 Stories)by Vivian Vande Velde (Harcourt, 2006).
  7. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (Harcourt, 2006).
  8. River Secrets by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury, 2006).
  9. Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe (HarperCollins, 2006).
  10. Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks (Chicken House, 2006).

What’s your pick for best book of 2008?

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Banned Books Week 2008 (Sept 27th-Oct 4th) is the 27th annual celebration of the freedom to read. Each year efforts are made to pull questionable books from library shelves, and the American Library Association (ALA) keeps track of all those requests and compiles the top offenders in their 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books List.

Surprisingly (or not), Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn still makes this year’s list.  Other titles mentioned include The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

So exercise your freedom to read what you want this week by checking out a banned book.  You can find a list of the 100 most challenged or banned titles on the ALA website.

Do you have a favorite banned or challenged book?  Mine is probably Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye or my childhood favorite The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.

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I am so excited to announce that my first book “Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College” is now in stores!!!  This college guide leads you through every step of the admission process: knowing your schools, making the grades, writing your story, putting yourself to the test, impressing the interviewer, finding the cash, getting ready to apply, and what to do once you’re in. It includes a master four-year-calendar to map out your game plan (because it’s never too early to start thinking about that AP class or extracurricular activity); a pocket organizer for keeping track of college brochures, financial aid info, and other important papers; oodles of advice; and fun stuff, like interactive exercises, a “brag sheet” to tote up your honors, and “17 Must-Ask Questions!”

So if you’re freaking out about college (or can’t wait to start), this just might put you over the top…and into your first choice!!!  Thanks for all the support, and don’t forget to tell your friends to check out this book!  I’d love to hear what you think!

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In Outsmarting the SAT, private tutor Elizabeth King provides fresh and down-to-earth guidance for acing the SAT. If you’re looking to brush up on a few basic skills or don’t know where to start, then check out this book which reads like an at-your-side coach–even the math problems are handwritten!  “The SAT is not a test of everything a student is taught in high school; instead, it tests a relatively short list of specific skills,” says King.  “Students can see incredible score gains if they master these specific skills and become familiar with the different types of questions on the test.”

Breaking down basic test strategies in an easy to read format, King’s book is a comprehensive yet unintimidating addition to your Official SAT guide. Just don’t forget to take a few practice tests (not included) before the big day…

For more information about Elizabeth King and Outsmarting the SAT visit elizabethonline.com.

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So, I just read Curtis Sittenfeld’s addictive debut novel, Prep. I know, I know…this was so 2005, but for those of us who were overwhelmed producing their first TV show or were still in grade school that year, it’s an exciting literary discovery.

If you haven’t read the delicious Prep, there’s still a few weeks left of summer to dive into Sittenfeld’s misfit heroine tale. I think it just may be the perfect segue to September, but I’d love to hear what you think.

Weigh in with your comment below…happy reading!

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seventeengb.jpgSeventeen is giving away copies of my upcoming book Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College to 61 lucky winners! Read more about official giveway rules and enter to win HERE! The contest ends Sept 5…let me know if you end up winning a copy. Good luck!

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thecollegesolution.jpgI was recently asked to review financial journalist Lynn O’Shaughnessy’s new book The College Solution. It’s filled with tons of great and practical advice for saving and affording college whether you’re a high school senior or the parent of a first grader. Here’s the copy from the back cover:

“Forget the rankings! Discover what really matters: the quality and value of the programs your child wants and needs. O’Shaughnessy uncovers “industry secrets” on how colleges actually parcel out financial aid-and how even “average” students can maximize their share. Learn how to send your kids to expensive privates schools for virtually the cost of an in-state public college…and how promising kids can pay significantly less than the “sticker price” even at the best state universities.”

Visit O’Shaughnessy’s website to learn more and pick up your copy.

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