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KLIATTAs the competition continues to heat up for admission to the top colleges, one sure winner is the publishing industry, which has produced a plethora of new books designed to give students an edge. This book begins with essay fundamentals: grammar and punctuation, what colleges are looking for, topics that work (and topics that don't), and how much the essay really matters in admissions. The second part offers a Q & A with admissions officers from such elite institutions as Amherst, Johns Hopkins, US Coast Guard Academy, and Yale. The bulk of the book, however, is given over to 89 real essays, along with profiles of the students who wrote them-including which colleges accepted the students and which rejected them. An index of essay themes (e.g., "Accidents Will Happen," "Family Ties," "Oh! The Places I've Been," "Summer Camp," "Race Relations") will help readers to locate essays on topics similar to those they might be contemplating. Note that these students are all "top applicants," with great academic records and test scores, and their essays are pretty darn good. For all guidance offices, for students like those described here. KLIATT Codes: S-Recommended for senior high school students. 2003, Random House, The Princeton Review, 346p. illus. index., Ages 15 to 18.
— Paula Rohrlick