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Joe Oswald
Vocabulary for Champions:
Joe Oswald, author

Children/Young Adult; Other Nonfiction; (Market)

A good vocabulary is the key to success in school and the professional world, especially in today’s competitive, fast-paced, global society. With study after study showing the correlation between an extensive vocabulary and higher socio-economic status, the need for a strong vocabulary has never been more important. With core subject-area vocabulary and advanced reading vocabulary, this book is perfect to prepare for school-based exams as well as the SAT,® ACT,® and GRE.® In addition, this book contains economics and personal finance vocabulary, resume-building vocabulary, Greek and Latin Roots, common Latin expressions, and commonly misused words. Written by a teacher with over twenty years of experience in teaching history, reading, writing, and standardized test prep, this book contains over 2,000 words and activities to help students, adults, and English language learners master important vocabulary. Whether it’s getting into a good college, landing that dream job, getting a promotion, or just being a more-informed person, Vocabulary for Champions can help you unlock your potential, give you an edge over the competition, and be a champion in whatever you set your sights upon. Complete with dozens of quizzes and word puzzles to enforce the meaning and spelling of words. Great for middle school students, high schoolers, and adults.
Longtime high school history teacher Oswald assembles a genuinely useful and enjoyable guide to building vocabulary. Most such guides are meant to be used by students preparing for standardized tests, but Oswald aims his at working adults looking to bolster their interviews and presentations, suggesting that a bigger vocabulary can lead to a higher income. The guide is orga-nized in a practical and intuitive way. Oswald starts with the basics, discussing tone and listing common prefixes and suffixes that can help students guess the meanings of words. These sections are followed by sets of relatively common words that readers can use in multiple everyday situations. To avoid overwhelming the reader with heaps of words, Oswald builds in short quizzes at regular intervals, ensuring that the lessons are absorbed and the reader can recognize words in context.

The topic sections include science, grammar and literature, math, economics and finance, and history. The finance section is especially useful, as Oswald digs into terms relating to mortgages, assets, and savings plans, educating readers on basic financial literacy as well as vocabulary. Learners of English as a second language will get a lot out of the discussion of commonly confused and misused words such as elicit and illicit.

Oswald keeps the guide fresh with fun study aids such as crossword puzzles and word searches. By the time the reader reaches the general vocabulary section, the rhythm created by Oswald’s method makes it simple to approach new words without a guiding theme. Though the book is short and doesn’t include advanced vocabulary words, it packs a lot into 276 pages. Some odd formatting choices are a bit distracting, and the layout cries out for occasional graphics, but the core content is valuable and presented well. This breezy, fast-moving guide can help anyone looking to build their word power.

Takeaway: Teens and adults at all stages of life can benefit from this well-constructed workbook for learning mid-level English vocabulary.

Great for fans of Chris Lele’s The Vocabulary Builder Workbook.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: B-
Illustrations: -
Editing: B-
Marketing copy: B