Wednesday, May 12, 2010

15. Confessions of a High School Word Nerd

Cohen, Arianne and Kinder, Colleen. Confessions of a High School Word Nerd. ISBN: 978-0143038368. Penguin. First Edition, 2007.

Confessions of A High School Word Nerd is a SAT prep tool disguised as a collection of essays for teenage readers. This collection of ten essays written by recent college graduates details interesting and often embarrassing high school memories that teens today can laugh at, and in doing so, learn important vocabulary words through bold text and easy to locate definitions. Each essay contains over 100 vocabulary words helpful to raise SAT scores for teen test takers. Each essay is presented as a confession, with many authors revealing that their stories have never been told until now. The massive amounts of defined vocabulary on each pages is revived at the end of the title in a glossary of all the combined terms. This book, meant to educate and entertain, adds a new element to traditional flash card and memorization study.

Critical Evaluation
Who said that studying had to be boring? Confessions of a High School Word Nerd, throws out the traditional flash cards and boring SAT strategy guides in exchange for entertaining and humorous essays on memorable high school experiences from recent college graduates. These enjoyable stories are filled with useful and important vocabulary words necessary for building a strong base for SAT success. By fusing prep words into the context of a story, teen readers will not only have the opportunity to read prep words in context, but will be able to enjoy the learning process as stories unfold. Each of the ten essays in this collection deals with a different aspect of high school life, from the dread of the first kiss, to the horrors of the college application process. These high school moments are remembered with witty reflection. The awkwardness that comes from calling boys and attending band camp will appeal to teens experiencing the same kinds of awkward experiences themselves. The variety of obscure and difficult vocabulary words used in this title and the easy to read bold text and definitions will help teens tremendously with learning the challenging terms presented. The humorous essays included in this valuable resource provide teens with an alternative and entertaining way to study for an otherwise very dry task.

Reader's Annotation
The solution to SAT flash cards and practice tests is here! Confessions of a High School Word Nerd interweaves SAT vocabulary and definitions into hilarious essays on high school life.

Author Information

Confessions of a High School Word Nerd co-editor and contributing writer Arianne Cohen is a very interesting woman. The 6 foot 3 inch tall journalist spends her professional time as a contributing writer for reputable publications Marie Claire, the New York Times, Vogue, and Popular Science. Cohen also acts as a contributing editor for Woman's Day magazine. She has published two other books in addition to Word Nerd including: The Tall Book, and Help it's Broken. The Tall Book explores the world of difficulties for tall people and the Help it's Broken acts as a do it yourself bible for beginners, giving advice for the average joe before an expert is needed.

Confessions of a High School Word Nerd co-editor and contributing writer Colleen Kinder is a New York native who has traveled and lived in a variety of locations including: Poland, Liberia, Mexico City, and the Dominican Republic. Her essays and articles have appeared in publications such as Salon, The New Republic, The New York Times Travel Section, and The Washington Post. When she's not busy writing guidebooks on travel for twenty somethings, Kinder spends her free time collecting globes, and taking excessive amounts of photos on her travels.

SAT prep

Curriculum Ties
SAT prep, English, vocabulary

Book Talking Ideas
Teens and pressure.
Reading and how reading can build vocabulary.
Preparing for the SAT doesn't have to be boring.

Reading Level
Grades 9+

Challenge Issues


Reason For Selection
I wanted to includes some SAT prep materials in my blog, because I know that this is an area of materials that I will need to be responsible for knowing as a future young adult librarian. After glancing through the bulky SAT prep volumes on my library's shelves, I spotted this little gem that seemed to call my name from between their overpowering pages. I really enjoy the fact that this collection of essays functions as a means to help students prepare for SAT vocabulary, so that students can be entertained while they study for their exams.

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