The Vocab Cafe booksI love the concept of working SAT words into stories and having definitions at the bottom of the page. The review words at the back of the chapters would be good for drilling spelling and definitions.
Josh Burke, from Vocab Cafe, describes the series like this, "Each book contains an original, narrative story that includes 300 SAT-level vocabulary words interspersed throughout the plot. The vocabulary selections are bold-italicized with a corresponding definition and pronunciation guide at the bottom of every page. The goal is to help students learn words in context, and thus make the process of vocabulary building more effective and fun."
Before I say another word, keep in mind that I am a conservative Christian homeschooling mother. We do not watch television. My children are not exposed to youth culture on a regular basis. I reviewed these products with my 12 and 14 year olds. These facts influence the way I viewed these books.
Things I liked:
-The concept of using SAT words in stories for young adults is good.
-The concept of writing definitions at the bottom of the pages is good.
-The concept of including the pronunciation of the SAT words in the definitions is good.
-Using bold italics for the SAT words made them easy to pick out.
-The length of the stories is good.
Things I didn't like:
-The stories I read moved too slowly to keep my interest well.
-The SAT words fit awkwardly into the sentences. It seemed that the author wrote a sentence then substituted a hard word for an easy word.
-For a college bound SAT prep book, I didn't expect the errors in grammar and spelling that could have been avoided by careful proof-reading and editing.
-The graphic violence in I.M. for Murder was inappropriate for young readers.
-The boy-girl relationship focus in some of the stories was inappropriate for young readers.
-Keeping secrets from parents, disobedience to parents, disrespect for authority, and destruction of property was presented as admirable actions.
Who might benefit best from this product:
-I think that public school students or teachers may find these books to be beneficial.
-College bound students who read popular teen books.
My children may not have been the best testers of these books.
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I received this product free in exchange for an honest review.