Dower, Laura 1967–

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Dower, Laura 1967–

(Jo Hurley)


Born March 12, 1967, in MA; married; children: one daughter, one son. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting glass bottles and writing instruments.




Writer. Scholastic, Inc., New York, NY, former creative director; full-time writer, 1999—.

Awards, Honors

YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers designation, 1999, for Real Teens; National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, 2002, for "From the Files of Madison Finn" series.


(Published anonymously) Real Teens: A Diary of a Junior Year, six volumes, 1999.

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

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

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

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

Also author of "Celebrity Quiz-o-Rama" series, and of activity books.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Light's Out!, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2003.

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

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

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

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

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

To Have and to Hold: Super Edition 1 (anthology), Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

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

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

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

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

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

2c4w: Bind-up 1 (anthology), Hyperion (New York, NY), 2006.

Bf4e: Best Friends Forever: Bind-up 2 (anthology), Hyperion (New York, NY), 2006.

Hit the Beach: Super Edition 2 (anthology), Hyperion (New York, NY), 2006.

Friends till the End: Super Edition 3 (anthology), Hyperion (New York, NY), 2007.


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

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

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

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

Fishy Business, illustrations by Christopher Cook, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

Beat Your Greens, illustrations by Ken Edwards, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

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

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

Three Girls and a Monster, illustrations by Ken Edwards, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

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

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

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

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

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


Celebrity Quiz-o-Rama Pop Party: Pop Quizzes, Party Ideas, and More!, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Secret Spy Superear!, illustrated by Marty Baumann, Tangerine Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Every Girl Can Be a Princess!: Storybook Dress-up, and Party Fun, illustrated by Zina Saunder, Tangerine Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Scooby-Doo! and the Phantom Prankster, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2005.

Firehouse Fun, illustrated by Tino Santanach, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.

Friendship 101: Quizzes and Questions, illustrated by Taia Morley, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.

(Adaptor) New Truck on the Block (based on Firehouse Tales television program), illustrated by Tino Santanach, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.

(Adaptor) Help's on the Way! (board book; based on Firehouse Tales television program), illustrated by Artful Doodlers, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.

Perfect Parties, Sleepovers, and More, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2007.

Also author of unauthorized biographies Pop People: Britney Spears and Hangin' with Hilary Duff.


A former creative director for New York City publisher Scholastic, Inc., Laura Dower is a prolific writer whose books are geared for preteen girls. Sometimes writing under the pen name Jo Hurley, she is best known to preteen readers for her "From the Files of Madison Finn" series, about a girl who has difficulty dealing with the changes that life brings. Dower has also created picture-book adaptations of an animated television series featuring the adventures of a trio of kindergarten girls with super powers who are known as the Powerpuff Girls. Created by Craig McCracken, The Powerpuff Girls series aired on cable television's Cartoon Network beginning in 2000.

As readers meet Madison in Only the Lonely, the Internet-savvy sixth-grade graduate is dealing with the aftershock of her parents' divorce. Described by a Pub-

lishers Weekly contributor as a "high-strung and contemplative heroine who pronounces herself ‘allergic’ to change," Madison weathers the transition to middle school with best pals Egg and Aimee. Noting that Dower's prose is salted with e-mail-ese, the Publishers Weekly reviewer added that in Only the Lonely preteen "issues are real enough and credibly handled." In Thanks for Nothing, the approach of the holidays forces Madison to choose between her parents, while Heart to Heart finds the twelve year old excited over the attentions of a secret fan. Other volumes find Maddie volunteering at a local animal shelter, competing in a Web-page design contest, babysitting, and traveling to New York City to share a friend's thirteenth birthday celebration. In a review of Only the Lonely for School Library Journal, Marilyn Payne Phillips predicted that the "From the Files of Madison Finn" books will be perfect as a "light summer read." Booklist critic Lauren Peterson also noted that humor takes center stage in Dower's preteen novels, writing that, "although some serious topics are raised" in Madison's computer-age chronicle, "they are handled mostly in a lighthearted way."

Biographical and Critical Sources


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

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.


Laura Dower Home Page, (December 20, 2007).

Madison Finn Web site, (December 20, 2007).

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Dower, Laura 1967–

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