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College Prep Genius: Vocab Cafe Series - TOS Review



My son, Cameron, and I are pleased to share with you today

College Prep Genius brings you fiction stories for teenagers rich with mystery, excitement and SAT vocabulary words used in context and defined for your student to increase his/her vocabulary knowledge.  I LOVE this concept.  I have, for years, wanted my own literature to have definition references somewhere in the book to help me save time, keeping me from running to the dictionary each time I didn't understand a word.  I love definitions and am always looking for the deeper meaning of words. 

On every page of text there are focus words italicized and bold.  At the end of each page your student is given a short definition of each one of these words.  At the end of the chapters the words are listed in a Word Review list.  This list does not contain the definitions. One recommendation I would suggest for using the Word Review List is to allow your student to take these words and make flash card to truly reinforce their spelling and meaning.  I have to say there are words in these books that I have never even heard of.  So, I have discovered some new vocabulary myself.

meretricious - (mer-i-trish-uhs) - Adj. - gaudy or falsely attractive

Since Cameron is 13 I was a little unsure about the possible teenage content.  Reassured by College Prep Genius website that these would contain no foul language, sexual themes or sorcery we pressed on.  I have allowed Cameron to help me with reviewing these novellas because he was the main one reading them.  I found a couple of instances where the book uses words like the 'hottest' to describe a girl.  I do not like this language as we do not allow our boys to talk about women like this. Be aware that I. M. for murder should contain a Parental Discretion Advised due to some graphic/violent content as the title would suggest. 

Here are Cameron's thoughts on each book and what he thought of the VocabCafe format:

Operation High School
A book about a new student in the high school who seems to be invisible.  Always alone.  "This book was not extremely exciting to me in the beginning, and at points didn't make much sense.  In my opinion, the storyline seemed sort of silly as it was based around a girl who was kidnapped by a group of teens who kept giving her test on where she was and why she was there.  Her kidnappers were young teenagers who were testing their spy skills on their fellow classmates.  It wasn't thrilling but had a lot of interesting words I was able to learn, many I had never heard before.  It gave me a lot of words to add to my vocabulary.  Besides the silliness it was an overall good book."

Planet Exile
"A space adventure about a young man who is sent away by his parents to a space camp for kids with bad behavior, like a military school.  These teens like to pull a lot of pranks eventually causing the ship to crash where there are a lot of bad guys.  This was my least favorite of the books I think mainly because the main character was a hoodlum and he didn't care about his personal hygiene or his appearance. There didn't seem to be as much vocabulary in this one.  At time I felt the words were placed where they were not necessary but I still learned new ones I didn't know before." 

petulant (pech-uh-luhnt) -Adj - showing impatient irritation

I.M. For Murder
"This was my favorite out of the series.  Full of action with humor throughout.  This book has a plethora of words I already knew and many of which I didn't know.  It was very interesting to me and I have added it to my personal reading list.  The story follows the high school tennis teams star and his two friends and the star trying to get a date with the 'love of his life'.  The adventure ensues when the two friends create a fake dating profile for the tennis star.  Mystery, the love of his life may be in danger and murder all add up to a fun book."

The Summer of Saint Nick (we were unable to read this one through)
As the summer is about to begin a young man discovers a small fortune and can't decide what to do with this money.  "The Summer of Saint Nick is a thought-provoking story of chance, romance, mystery and sacrifice."

VocabCafé books help students easily learn SAT-level words while reading an original wholesome story.  These modern novellas contain no foul language, no illicit sexual themes, and no sorcery! 
Based on a three-step approach to increasing vocabulary, each book highlights 300 advanced words by using DEFINITION, REPETITION, and REINFORCEMENTReaders find the definition of every highlighted word at the bottom of the page -- a word review and appendix complement the learning process!  STOP wasting your time on fiction books that don’t enhance your knowledge.

Complete Vocabcafe Series Special

Get all 4 Vocabcafe series books for the price of 3:
Order now and you will receive:
IM for Murder
Operation High school
Planet Exile
Summer of St Nick
Each books sells for $12.95
Purchase your copy HERE

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
Revelation 12:11

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge for the purposes of sharing my honest opinion and review.

You can read more Reviews from my Crew Mates at The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew HERE


  1. Thanks Mindy and Cameron for checking out our books! Your opinions are greatly helpful for us as we continue to make more books and revise the ones we have. New books will be out shortly!

  2. Thank you for reading Josh. We look forward to seeing what the future holds. Blessings!+


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