Review: Defining Twilight by Brian Leaf, M.A.


I’ve said before about how romance novels will improve your vocabulary and that they were responsible for my high SAT scores. Now it’s time to show how that’s possible…

Brian Leaf is brilliant. He takes Twilight and pulls from it the words most likely to be seen on a standardized test. The book is very simple to use and was so engaging some middle school girls that I know took turns quizzing each other from it for hours purely for fun. Think about that. If that isn’t an endorsement right there I don’t know what is.

There are 40 groups of vocab words – 8 words in each group. That’s 320 words (directly from Twilight) plus synonyms, antonyms, and word parts for a staggering 600 words. Each word is isolated in the text so students can look it up in context. A glossary is provided in the back of the book as well as after each page of words.

Brian Leaf has obviously read Twilight and writes engagingly in his explanations pulling from the novel to enlighten readers. The book teaches how to find synonyms, make analogies, fill in sentences, and figure out meaning from word parts. Each section and quiz builds on itself for repetition and memorization purposes. After every five groups there’s a quiz for practice.

I love the group titles: Tousled Hair, Enigmatic Answers, His Topaz Eyes, and Vampire Etiquette. You can picture where they come from in the novel.

If literacy parts of an exam scare you to pieces, nothing makes learning more fun and less scary than a sparkly vampire or two.

Rating: 5 Stars

Buy: Defining Twilight: Vocabulary Workbook for Unlocking the SAT, ACT, GED, and SSAT

5 thoughts on “Review: Defining Twilight by Brian Leaf, M.A.”

  1. Wow, 3 cheers for Brian Leaf. He apparently knows how to motivate students to learn. Brian should write a fun book for those needing to pass the CLAST or the GRE; if he hasn’t done so already.

  2. What a great idea. When my kids were small, I used their weekly spelling words to help them write a story. The idea was to use all the words. It was fun for all of us. Wish I’d kept those stories now!

  3. Wow…with the phenomenon that Twilight has become, it is a fantastic idea to try and incorporate it into studying. I think that kids picking up these massive books and reading them has been a huge step in the right direction, but Brian takes it to a whole new level by utilizing this literary addiction to Twilight in new ways! KUDOS!

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