Defining Twilight

by Brian Leaf

{ 2009 | Cliffs Notes | 192 pgs }

I was kindly sent a copy of this book by the author for review. It’s a workbook that helps students learn vocabulary for the SAT and ACT by using words found in Twilight by Stephenie Meyers. Having both read Twilight and tutored a student preparing for the major standardized tests, I felt like I was in a good position to evaluate Leaf’s book.

The book contains 40 groups of vocabulary words, and for each group, students are asked to look up the words in their handy copy of Twilight and guess a definition based on context. Then the definitions are provided; students begin a series of drills: choosing synonyms, making analogies, and completing sentences.

While I liked the general structure of the book, there were two things I wished had been different. First, the vocabulary words are taken sequentially from Twilight, so they don’t increase in difficulty at all. Each group of words is from a 2-3 page range of text in the book. Second, there are only 8 drills for each group, which means not all words will have a practice exercise. (I could add a third complaint – that students must have a copy of Twilight with them, instead of being able to read the relevant sentences in the workbook – but since Leaf’s book is not specifically authorized by Meyers, I can understand why it was done this way.)

Overall, I think Defining Twilight would be a fun exercise for a Twilight fan preparing for college entrance exams, but only as a supplement to a more in-depth study aid.

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One Comment on “Defining Twilight”

  1. Katie says:

    I saw this book at Barnes and Noble right across from all the GMAT prep books. I thought it was funny, but I think it’s a a sound notion. If you want to teach someone a new skill, or a new depth to a skill, you use something they’re familiar with. Since most girls preparing for the SAT and ACT have read Twilight at least once (some probably WAY more than that), this gives them the satisfaction of having one more place to go to get “Twilight”, while also satisfying their parents with regard to studying for the SAT and ACT. lol. I also LOVE that the author sent it to you to review. You’re such a professional!


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