Wednesday, November 18, 2009


According to the Twilight Saga's Peter Facinelli, "Brian Leaf has done it again!" But has he really? Is that a bunch of crap? Let's see….
When I received "Defining New Moon," I was surprised to see that it wasn't much bigger than its predecessor.
Here's the 411 on the format. "Defining New Moon" has 40 small groups of words. Each group, like "Defining Twilight", has eight words for the reader to learn, comprehend, and (hopefully) use. The good news is that while you are learning 320 words and their meanings, you will only have to take eight "quizzes".
Similar to the first edition to this workbook series, "Defining New Moon" follows Stephenie Meyer's sequel to Twilight and introduces numerous words for the reader. The first part of each group is where you are introduced to the eight words you will learn. After reading the passages in New Moon, you can write what you think each word's means using context clues (remember those?). On the reverse page, the correct definition (as it applies to that passage) is displayed, but you will also find neat, interesting facts about that word. The third page of the group has three short, easy exercises for you to apply your new found knowledge. On the fourth page, you will find the answer key for the group questions. Don't cheat! It won't help you if you cheat.
After five groups, a short, one page quiz will let you use the 40 words you have learned. Think you may forget the words after reading this book? Not likely. There are two reviews in this workbook: one review is for groups 1 through 20 and the other is for groups 21-40. And, if you don't write in the book, you can revisit the quizzes and exercises many times before the SAT, ACT, GED, and/or SSAT.
I think that the part I appreciate the most is the comprehensive glossary in the back of the book. This can come in handy while making last minute study sessions for your upcoming test(s).
Here are a few examples of the words for "Defining New Moon": unabashed, petulance, defiled, surreptitiously, and devoid. All of the quizzes and exercises (except for where you put your own definitions) are multiple choice questions, which I appreciate. On tests like the SAT and ACT, you will be given similar question formats.
From beginning to end, Brian Leaf has done a magnificent job with "Defining New Moon". Just as with "Defining Twilight", this workbook, I feel, can greatly enhance a reader's comprehension of Meyer's novel – even if he or she does not have to take the SAT, ACT, GED, or SSAT. Often times, I have noticed that readers often skip words they do not know and will not look them up. Because this occurs, the reader may miss on important details, puns, or information that he or she may need later. With a workbook like this, the reader can easily learn the word in a stress-free, relaxed environment and at his or her own pace.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has read or is reading New Moon – no matter if they are taking these tests or not. I feel that this workbook would be beneficial for anyone, but especially so for those who are preparing for such life-changing tests as the SAT, ACT, GED, and SSAT. I mean how can you not love this: in 183 pages (including the glossary), you will learn 320 words? That is almost two words per page! Oh--- and did I mention you get to read New Moon? J
Stay tuned to PLT for a chance to win a copy of "Defining New Moon". Details will be up shortly!!!! Trust me – you want to enter this contest because – trust me – you want this book!
EDIT: Giveaway has been posted. Info here!

Good luck!

Info on "Defining New Moon" on Brian Leaf's website here.
And in case you missed it: check out our review of "Defining Twilight", also by Brian Leaf, here.

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