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College Admissions

A Is for Admission: The Ultimate Insider's Guide to Getting Into the Ivy League and Other Top Colleges, by Michele A. Hernandez (Warner Books Inc., 1271 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10020; 256 pp., cloth; $24).The author, an admissions officer at Dartmouth College, gives an insider's view of how prestigious colleges choose their freshman classes, as well as tips for middle and high school students on coursework that will prepare them for the selective-college admissions gambit.

Do It Write: How To Prepare a Great College Application, by G. Gary Ripple (Octameron Associates, 1900 Mount Vernon Ave., PO Box 2748, Alexandria, VA 22301; 48 pp., paper; $6). One of 17 titles, ranging in cost from $6 to $9, put out by this higher education research and publishing firm. All offer brief and systematic approaches for the high school student to use in tackling various pieces of the college admissions process.

The Best 311 Colleges, by Edward Custard with Christine Chung, Zachary Knower, Tom Meltzer, & Eric Owens (Random House, Princeton Review Books, 201 E. 50th St., New York, NY 10022; 698 pp., paper; $20). The 1998 edition of this perennial guide ranks the top 20 schools in 61 categories, ranging from "party schools" to "best academics" to "most accepting of gay community." A companion to the publisher's Complete Book of Colleges, which profiles 1,400 colleges, this guide also offers advice on choosing and getting admitted to the right college.

The Fiske Guide to Colleges, by Edward B. Fiske (Random House, 102 E. 50th St., New York, NY 10022; 768pp., paper; $20). The 14th edition of this selective guide, compiled by a former education editor of The New York Times, contains essays on 300 top colleges that include information about academics and social life informed by student interviews. This year, Mr. Fiske includes a listing of 43 "best buys" among profiled institutions.

The Guerrilla Guide to Mastering Student Loan Debt, by Anne Stockwell (HarperPerennial, 10 E. 53rd St., New York, NY 10022; 336pp., paper; $14). Advice to prospective college students, from a successful journalist still paying off her student loans, on how to make the debt-acquiring experience a more positive one through better knowledge of the system.

The Internet Guide for College-Bound Students, by Kenneth E. Hartman (The College Board, 45 Columbus Ave., New York, NY 10023; 196 pp., paper; $14.95). Offers students a way to obtain information on colleges that goes beyond the official portraits by showing them how to search the Internet for unofficial data and opinions that can make clearer the campuses' attractions and deficits. Also offers advice on submitting applications electronically.

Reading & Literacy

Help America Read: A Handbook for Volunteers, by Gay Su Pinnell & Irene C. Fountas (Heinemann, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801; 106 pp., paper; $15). Aimed at volunteers heeding President Clinton's call to help make students strong readers by grade 3, this handbook offers specific ways of working with children, book lists by grade level, sample lesson plans, basic information on phonics and fluency, and concrete suggestions and tips on aspects of helping children learn. A Coordinator's Guide to Help America Read is available for $20, offering tips on successfully marshaling volunteers' efforts.

Reading Team: A Handbook for Volunteer Tutors K-3, by Lesley Mandel Morrow & Barbara J. Walker (International Reading Association, 800 Barksdale Rd., PO Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714; 38 pp., paper; $14.95). A clear, well-presented plan for making volunteer tutors successful reading coaches for students in the early elementary grades. Provides activities, resources, and descriptions of the "six elements of the tutoring session."

The New Press Guide to Multicultural Resources for Young Readers, ed. by Daphne Muse (The New Press, 450 W. 41st St. New York, NY 10036; 700 pp., cloth; $60). Features more than 1,000 detailed, newly commissioned reviews of picture books, poetry, story books, biographies, anthologies, and young-adult novels dealing with more than 20 ethnic, disabled, gay and lesbian, and multiracial communities. Also contains essays on important issues in this field.

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