Today's Wisdom

Saturday, November 12, 2011

TOS Review: VocabCafe


VocabCafe is a series of 4 books from College Prep Genius designed to help students easily learn SAT-level words while reading an original wholesome story.  Each book contains 300 advanced vocabulary words.  Each word is located at the bottom of the page with the definition.  At the end of each chapter is a list of all the words to review.

Author of several of the books in the series, Josh Burk, had this to say about them...

“… I did a lot of reading to improve my vocabulary. I learned a lot of great words through the process of looking up every unfamiliar word, but it was often extremely tedious. Some of the best books had me pulling out the dictionary several times a sentence! This often sucked the fun out of reading and made learning vocabulary a chore. The VocabCafe Book Series tries to remedy this by keeping the power of learning through context while relieving the annoyance of dictionary interruptions!”


The Summer of Saint Nick Story Synopsis:
For Nick Franklin, high school has been an incredible disappointment. Although an academic success (Nick's desire to become a lawyer drives him to get good grades), he utterly failed in the aspect of making friends. To make matters worse, Nick fell in love with the hottest girl in school -- who doesn't even know he exists.
When summer arrives, Nick finally has the chance to forget his social worries. Like all vacations past, he plans to spend his time studying law in a clubhouse in the outskirts of town. Unbeknownst to him, this clubhouse holds the secret to making him wealthy, and instantly Nick can make all his wildest dreams come true.
Money can solve all his problems. With a new car, some new clothes, and the freedom to do whatever he wants... Nick knows that his true love will fall head over heels for him. However, he realizes that "getting the girl" may not be the most important thing. The Summer of Saint Nick is a thought-provoking story of fortune, romance, mystery, and sacrifice.
Sample Vocabulary Excerpts in Context:
"Celeste was a dream. She had blonde hair and blue eyes, wore a miniskirt, and, to put it plainly, looked like a model. For Nick, Celeste was the perfect example of pulchritude. Ever since middle school, he’d had a secret crush on her."
Pulchritude – (puhl-kri-tood) – N – beauty; comeliness
"It was as if everything was right with the world. The sky was bluer than blue, and in the air Nick could smell the redolent flowers, trees, and homemade apple pies."
Redolent – (red-l-uhnt) – ADJ – having a pleasant odor; fragrant
"He opened the verdant paint, and with his verdant knowledge of painting, began to roll a zigzag pattern on the wall. Paint flew everywhere. It fell on the floor, made spots on the ceiling, and most of all, covered Nick in green."
Verdant – (vur-dnt) – ADJ – of a green color; inexperienced

You can read a synopsis of the other books here.  As you can tell by these vocabulary words, these books are geared toward high school age students.  I had my 8th grader give them a try.  He really thought they were awesome and loved the story lines.  He even asked to read extra chapters than I had assigned.  However, when I would review the vocabulary with him - it was very seldom that he could remember any of them.  This could just be his disability (he is about a grade level behind in reading) but just reading them in context did not help him retain the meaning.  They may be a better fit for him when he is a little older.

Each book sales for $12.95 and right now you can purchase the 4 book series for $38.85 which is like getting one book free.  Regular price is $51.80 for the set.  

Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought of VocabCafe and other products from College Prep Genius.

**Disclaimer: I received the series of books from VocabCafe in exchange for my review. The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review Melissa! We are coming out with flash cards to go along with the books, and hopefully those will help students remember the words better!


Thanks for stopping by - let me know that you did!