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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 1 August 2014
As other reviewers have mentioned, at around 15cm by 11cm, this book is a little on the teeny tiny side. It's easily misplaced and can occasionally even go on-the-run for several days at a time. Ah, but when you've got it surrounded, you too will be impressed by that incredible knack it has of being able to effortlessly entice its young audience into engaging with it.

The grateful recipient of it in my case was supposed to be a home-educated 9 year old but, thanks to a timely outbreak of sibling rivalry, it was actually her six year old sister who wrestled this from my manbag and quickly roped the nine year old into some quid pro quo spelling bee activities. To this day, the book is seen as a source of recreational enjoyment for the pair of them, rather than being anything remotely 'educational'. Which is unbelievable really, given the somewhat intimidating nature of some of its contents.

Actually, I noticed that Amazon seemed quite keen to keep those contents a secret and so, being something of a crusader for truth (that, and the inalienable right of all working men to wear a dress to the office if the weather warrants it. No? Oh well, that must just be me then), I took it upon myself to get a few snaps of one or two of the pages the last time I saw it in action. I apologise in advance for the strange shadow that appears on all of them. I suppose it must have been me, getting in the way of the light: although for some bizarre reason it looks rather more as though the photographer was shaped like SpongeBob SquarePants.

Anyway, the book contains 3200 'Everyday Words', arranged in six lists, which are aimed at children between the ages of 7 to 12: although, of course, those ages are purely arbitrary. The words are tackled in cleverly organised units, which help to emphasise different spelling patterns. According to the introduction, the 3200 words found within these 49 pages 'represent 80 to 90 per cent of those found in most books and newspapers'. The theory is that becoming familiar with that, surprisingly small, number of words will provide children with a large proportion of the spellings that they will ever come across in their day-to-day activities.

This publication seems to have been going since 1932, although the copy I bought was a reprint from 2003. Interestingly, the last two pages provide a 'List of New Words', which would appear to have been deemed important enough for the modern, more sophisticated, half-pint to get to grips with. I must say, it's a sad indictment of our times that the average eleven year old apparently needs to be able to spell 'everyday' things like 'fascist', 'racist' and 'terrorist' though.

One or two reviewers have said that this book does not represent good value for money and that similar lists of words are available to download free from the internet. All I can say is, the layout and size of this book definitely does appeal to children.

When they can find it.

And since (thankfully!) nobody has yet tried to humiliate ME with it, I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
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11 comment29 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 March 2011
My school used these books for spelling tests. I remember it very fondly - I'm 25 now and my spelling is pretty good, even if I do say so myself!

The book is very much only a starting point - a little handy reference.

Each pupil worked through the book at their own pace, aiming to learn one set of words a week. The lists get longer and more difficult as you progress through the book. I think we started at the age of about 6 or 7, up to 10 or 11. Our homework each week was to learn a set of words and their meanings. We would then have a spelling test, followed later by a "spellings into sentences" exercise, where we had to use each word in a sentence. This may not be the modern way of teaching spelling - my school was rather old-fashioned (but wonderful) in a lot of ways - but it worked for me, and I am dyslexic.
11 comment25 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 October 2009
A very simple but effective aid to spelling. The children enjoyed using it to make their own spelling tests.
0Comment11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 November 2010
its just what I wanted, lists of words graded by difficulty, though it would of been useful to have the age guide line on the description. 9-12 .
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on 25 January 2011
This little book just has a series of lists of spellings graded in difficulty and grouped according to type eg. -ion and -ing words. It is what it is, but it was very useful to see the kind of words one is expected to spell at the 11+ level. It was an eye opener for my spellingly challenged child. Worth the little it cost.
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on 22 January 2008
This neat little book is a essential part of a primary school teacher's tool kit; it is also very helpful at home if you want to help your child learn to spell.
It has 3200 everyday words, carefully selected and graded into 6 lists for children of ages 7-12. Words within each list are grouped according to common difficulty to facilitate learning.
A really useful book.
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on 29 January 2009
I bought this book to help my son, as he is into wrap music and is always wanting me to spell words that are commonly used. At first he refused it and was embarrassed about it. Then i noticed him carrying it about and then his friends were aking him to spell from it. I had it as a child growing up and it help me alot as i am slightly dyslesic and so is he. Now he never goes any where with out it. His grand mother took it off him for herself and i had to get him another. i highly recommend this book to any one not only kids but there are alot of people who could benit from this book.
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on 17 February 2014
My older sister started using this book when she was 7 in 1946. My middle sister and I also used it as we needed it. I still have an original book dated 1945 which I used for my Son (now 36) and I am now using it for my 9 year old Granddaughter. Good valve? Most definitely although today's children probably have a lot of newer words in their everyday vocabulary that weren't around at the time of my printed version!
It might look dull and boring and call me old fashioned but I think being a good speller is important.
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on 27 September 2013
I was delighted to find a spelling book to help the children to keep up with their school work. One that was aimed at the right level.
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on 19 March 2013
This book is great - its handbag sized and I carry it with me all the time and pull it out at all opportunities (esp when the i'm bored sentence is uttered) to test my sons spellings. I then circle the wrong ones and we keep going over them until they get them right. My sons are 5 and 10, even the 5 year old loves doing the 3 -4 letter words
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