Dower, Laura 1967- (Jo Hurley)

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Dower, Laura 1967- (Jo Hurley)


Born March 9, 1967, in MA; married Richard Dower (an educator); children: Myles, Olivia, Nathaniel. Education: Columbia University, B.A., 1989.


Agent—Stimola Literary Studio, 306 Chase Ct., Edgewater, NJ 07020.




Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Authors Guild.


Bubble Trouble, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Paste Makes Waste, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Monkey See, Doggy Do, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Mojo Jojo's Rising, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Bought and Scold, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

The Powerpuff Girls: Beat Your Greens, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

Fishy Business, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

The Powerpuff Girls Save Valentine's Day!, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

I Will Remember You: What to Do When Someone You Love Dies: A Guidebook through Grief for Teens (nonfiction), Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

The Valentine's Day Mix-Up, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

Three Girls and a Monster, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

Let the Fur Fly, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

Bubbles Bedazzled!, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.

'Twas the Fight before Christmas, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.

Not-So-Awesome Blossom, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.

Bf4e: Best Friends Forever, Hyperion Paperbacks for Children (New York, NY), 2006.

Rewind, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.

All Shook Up, Hyperion Paperbacks for Children (New York, NY), 2006.

The Boy Next Door, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.

Friends till the End, Hyperion Paperbacks for Children (New York, NY), 2007.

For Girls Only: Everything Great about Being a Girl, Feiwel and Friends (New York, NY), 2008.


Only the Lonely, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2001.

Boy, Oh Boy!, Volo (New York, NY), 2001.

Play It Again, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2001.

Caught in the Web, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2001.

Thanks for Nothing, Volo (New York, NY), 2001.

Lost and Found, Volo (New York, NY), 2002.

Save the Date, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2002.

Picture Perfect, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2002.

Just Visiting, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2002.

Give and Take, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2002.

Heart to Heart, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2003.

Lights Out!, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2003.

Sink or Swim, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2003.

Double Dare, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2003.

Off the Wall, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

Three's a Crowd, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

On the Case, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

Give Me a Break, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

To Have and to Hold, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

Keep It Real, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2005.

All That Glitters, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2005.

Forget Me Not, Volo/Hyperion (New York, NY), 2005.

From the Files of Madison Finn #1: Only the Lonely, Hyperion Paperbacks for Children (New York, NY), 2006.

From the Files of Madison Finn Super Edition #2: Hit the Beach, Hyperion Paperbacks for Children (New York, NY), 2006.

Author of unauthorized biographies under the pseudonym Jo Hurley, including Pop People: Britney Spears and Hangin' with Hilary Duff. Author of quiz books, including Celebrity Quiz-O-Rama 1: Pop Party, Celebrity Quiz-O-Rama 2: Music Mania, and Celebrity Quiz-O-Rama 3: Screen Scene.


Laura Dower is an American writer who has written scores of fiction books, primarily for children. In 2001 Dower started the "From the Files of Madison Finn" series with the publication of Only the Lonely. The debut of the series introduces Madison Finn, a seventh-grade girl who keeps records on everything and everyone. In her first adventure, she makes new friends while her best friends are away at camp. When they return she finds that they have all changed and her new friend becomes a point of contention. Eventually the group learns to be friends again. A reviewer writing on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Web site commented that "Dower takes you on a exciting adventure with lots of twists and turns that will surely make you read it again." The reviewer concluded that Only the Lonely is "a must-read for the pre-teen girl." Booklist contributor Lauren Peterson labeled Madison's character as "spunky." Peterson mentioned that "although some serious topics are raised, they are handled mostly in a lighthearted way." A contributor to the Preteen Planet Web site thought that Only the Lonely "is great for girls ages 10-14." The same reviewer described the writing style as "really fun and entertaining," adding that readers "can probably relate to it." A contributor to Publishers Weekly described the novel as a "chatty debut." The same contributor concluded that "the issues are real enough and credibly handled, so that readers who identify with Madison's angst may well want to" continue reading the series. Marilyn Payne Phillips, writing in School Library Journal, called the novel "fluffy reading." Phillips concluded that "this novel has no heavy messages to weigh down a light summer read."

Dower published the nonfiction book I Will Remember You: What to Do When Someone You Love Dies: A Guidebook through Grief for Teens, in 2001. The book discusses ways in which teens can cope with the loss of a loved one by using personal accounts by teens who have recently experienced that loss, sharing their experience from a like-minded position. Archie Goodfeather, writing on, described the book as "the balancing pole that enables teenagers to walk the tightrope of sadness, loss, and grief," avoiding the well-meaning, but often off-track advice from friends and loved ones. Goodfeather praised the approach Dower took in dealing with this sensitive issue, noting that it is "particularly effective."

In 2006 Dower published the story Rewind. The story is told by splitting it into three personal viewpoints of three high school seniors, Cady, Lucas, and Hope. The book opens with Cady witnessing her boyfriend, Lucas, slapping his friend and class beauty, Hope, across the face. The book unfolds by taking a reverse chronological approach, leading back through a web of deceit, romance, and power plays among the characters involved, behind the back of the other. Booklist contributor Hazel Rochman thought that the overall story "may seem confusing," but noted that the strong part of the book is in the individual details in each self-sustaining chapter. Rochman pointed out that the story is "filled with sizzling characters, fast dialogue, casual sex, … and plenty of contemporary trappings."



Booklist, June 1, 2001, Lauren Peterson, review of Only the Lonely, p. 1882; February 15, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Rewind, p. 91.

Library Media Connection, August 1, 2006, Pat Bender, review of Rewind, p. 74.

Publishers Weekly, April 16, 2001, review of Only the Lonely, p. 66.

School Library Journal, August, 2001, Marilyn Payne Phillips, review of Only the Lonely, p. 178.

ONLINE, (January 8, 2008), Archie Goodfeather, review of I Will Remember You: What to Do When Someone You Love Dies: A Guidebook through Grief for Teens.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Web site, (January 8, 2008), review of Only the Lonely.

Laura Dower Home Page, (January 8, 2008), author biography.

Preteen Planet, (January 8, 2008), review of Only the Lonely.

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Dower, Laura 1967- (Jo Hurley)

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