Overall, it is a good book for middle and high school students as well as non-native English speakers. There is not enough material to fully prepare students for the exams/tests, but it will certainly improve the vocabulary and teach some expressions Here are the pros and cons of the book.
- I liked the structure of the book. The lessons are divided by weeks and days. So, if a student is determined to study every day, the books will support his/her goal.
- The new words are great. The authors actually focus on teaching the words that are not widely used. Here are some examples: "benevolent", "tenacious", "viable", "introspective", "omnivorous", "saturate", "complicity", etc.
- There are sample sentences with blank spaces, where a learner is offered to place the new words.
- Every lesson also has a section called "Todays' Idiom" with an explanation and a sample sentence. Here are some idioms used in the book: "to play possum", "on the spur of the moment", "to spill the beans", "like Caesar's wife", "to take by storm", "by hook or by crook", "Achilles heel", etc. As you can imagine, with 46 weeks of study (5 lessons in each), there are a lot of idioms!
- There is a summary exercise at the end of each week. All answers are provided at the end of the book.
- I was surprised that there are no definitions provided. They just throw words at you - go figure what does "alleviate" or "vindicate" mean. The spelling is there, but no definitions. I assume that it's easier to use a Kindle version of the book, where you can highlight a word and using the Internet, read the actual meaning of it. On the other hand, exercises are probably better in the printed version of the book - you can write the answers in the spaces provided.
For non-native English speakers: This is not the only books that you will need to improve your English language skills. You may also want to check out these books on Amazon: "McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage", "Everybody writes" by Ann Handley, "How to say it" by Maggie Rosalio, "Barron's Dictionary of American Idioms", "American Accent Training" by Ann Cook, "The blue book of grammar and punctuation", and "English the American Way: A Fun ESL Guide".
- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Barrons Educational Series Inc.; Seventh Edition edition (1 May 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1438010427
- ISBN-13: 978-1438010427
- Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 2.3 x 27.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 862 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)