BRITNEY SPEARS

"Thank goodness Britney has realized she needs her mother—this is a step in the right direction"
Janice McBryar
Cleveland, Tenn.

It's so easy to criticize and speculate on why Britney Spears' life seems to have shattered into a thousand shards of glass. She's just a young woman trying to transition into being a divorced parent with two small boys and little emotional support. So for now Britney needs to heal her mind and spirit, and then everything else will fall into place.
Michelle Kelley
Seattle, Wash.

Britney has got to learn that when you have children, they become your No. 1 priority. Fortunately for the sake of her little boys, the judicial system is looking out for their best interests. I hope Britney sees the light soon and grows up before her children do.
Darby Monette
Chateaugay, N.Y.

Regarding Britney's mom coming to her rescue, all I have to say is, "Are you kidding?" Britney would not be in the sorry situation she is in today if her mother had provided limits and guidance to her daughter over the years. Clearly Britney needs professional help and for the sake of her two sons, I hope she gets it.
Karen Murphy
Montreal, Quebec

HEATHER KUZMICH

As the mother of an 8-year-old girl who has Asperger's syndrome, I enjoyed the article about Heather Kuzmich. Kaitlyn and I watch America's Next Top Model, and Heather gives my daughter hope that she too can reach her dreams and not let her Asperger's stand in her way. Stories like this shed light on autism and show that those who live with it can make their lives whatever they choose to.
Carrie Chavanne
Washington, Maine

Heather Kuzmich is putting an end to all the old stereotypes, and I pray she makes it all the way to the end of the show. But she has already won in my eyes—she is a beautiful person inside and out. As the mother of a 10-year-old boy with autism, I finally have hope!
Andrea Gagnon
Valencia, Calif.

HANSON

Like Isaac Hanson, I was hospitalized for a pulmonary embolism. At age 25, I never thought something like this could happen to me. It's certainly a scary experience, but if caught early enough it can be treated, so be aware of the symptoms. Thanks for bringing this story to the attention of more young adults.
Nicky S.
via e-mail

JOEY FATONE

I fell in love with Joey Fatone last year on Dancing with the Stars and have been going through withdrawal pains ever since it ended. Thanks very much for giving me my "Yoey" fix!
Tony Bradley
Sedalia, Mo.

WILDFIRE HERO

The recent wildfires in Southern California prompted Taylor Crabtree, the 17-year-old honored as one of PEOPLE's 2006 Heroes of the Year for her work distributing teddy bears to kids with cancer (www.taybearhugs.org), to spring into action once again. With flames just three miles from her Vista, Calif., home, Crabtree loaded up her SUV and distributed 275 stuffed animals, blankets and toiletries to children taking refuge at shelters. "Their parents just took what was necessary and the kids didn't have any toys," explains Crabtree. "The stuffed animals have a comforting effect." Her parents also opened their three-bedroom home for a week to displaced relatives, along with pal Roxanne Parker, 16, who bunked in Taylor's bedroom. Says Parker: "Taylor has always been so generous."

Correction
In our Oct. 22 issue, we misidentified the sister-in-law of James Van Der Beek. She is Jennifer McComb. In the same issue, we said the two stills of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed were from video taken shortly before their car crash. The top image on page 28 was taken on the afternoon before the accident.