Saturday, August 29, 2009

Book Review: defining Twilight; Enticing Teens to Learn

"Quick," I said to my teenager. "Define futilely." The eyes that bore back into mine were blank, almost oblivious to my question. "Are you woolgathering?"

"What is this?", asked the teenager who was now experiencing grave misgivings over the decision to walk in to the room with me as I sat reading.

So began my excursion into defining Twilight by Brian Leaf, a delightful book chock full of vocabulary words. What's the deal?

The Twilight book series by Stephenie Meyer has been the latest rage among teens and young adults for a couple of years now. The movie is seen on a regular basis at my house as others descend in droves. The books are so popular that I've walked in and found the teens playing Twilight Trivia or reciting favorite lines of the movie. The books are kept close as a reference so the kids can be sure of their facts.

I admit I had seen the movie, but had not taken time to actually read the book. When asked to review defining Twilight, I knew I had to bite the bullet and jump head first into the land of chaste vampires. The Twilight book was fun to read, and it was full of wonderful words not commonly used by teens today. Do they understand the meanings?

Enter Leaf's defining Twilight, and it's a match made perfect for any student studying to take one of the college entrance exams. Leaf has provided an entertaining way to use the Twilight book as an aid to learning vocabulary. It's a great concept. Read the page in the book, and define the word. There are also quick exercises to use to complement learning the definitions.

It sure beats digging out the old Digests I had to use when I was studying for the SAT. Perhaps I would have scored better on the standardized tests of my day if someone had made learning the vocabulary more pertinent to the times.

Leaf will release his second book in the Defining series in October. I can't wait to see the words he defines and introduce them to my teen.

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