Woe is I Jr.: The Younger Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in PlainEnglish

Overview

As Patricia T. O'Conner proved in the original Woe Is I, a national bestseller, grammar can be entertaining and easy to understand. And now she's made it fun for middle-graders. With funny chapters like 'Incredible Shrinking Words,' silly poems about meatballs, and examples that reference Shrek and earwax jelly beans, kids will know this isn't a dry, boring reference book. Instead, conversational language and humorous examples painlessly illuminate the rules of the English ...

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Woe is I Jr.: The Younger Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in PlainEnglish

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Overview

As Patricia T. O'Conner proved in the original Woe Is I, a national bestseller, grammar can be entertaining and easy to understand. And now she's made it fun for middle-graders. With funny chapters like 'Incredible Shrinking Words,' silly poems about meatballs, and examples that reference Shrek and earwax jelly beans, kids will know this isn't a dry, boring reference book. Instead, conversational language and humorous examples painlessly illuminate the rules of the English language.

Like a humorous Strunk and White for 4th through 8th graders, this is destined to become a must-have for every English classroom and student.

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Editorial Reviews

Ann Hodgman
Woe Is I Jr. is basically a lighthearted grammar textbook, and the points are sound. O'Conner covers a lot of tricky areas ("Hanged" or "hung"? "I," "me," or "myself"?), and she doesn't shrink from the fact that a lot of grammar rules must simply be memorized because they have no inherent logic.
—The New York Times
Children's Book-of-the-Month Club
Get ready for a very funny and clever read about grammar that combines entertainment and learning in one!
Slow Reads
O'Conner's lack of jargon makes the book's grammar approachable and fresh.
VOYA - Cynthia Winfield
In this entertaining treasure, O'Conner's blithe banter will attract young adult readers, and her irreverent delivery will retain them. Her vocabulary is current-she claims that English is "supersized" from adopting bits from many other languages-and her humor displays literacy of young adult culture through jokes, puns-"metaphors be with you" and "plurals of wisdom"-and examples that employ characters such as Count Olaf, Wishbone, and Shrek. Her advice is sound and explained far more memorably than this middle school English teacher has ever managed. How to decide whether to use "I" or "me" when it is paired with another noun? Simple: Play hide-and-seek. Hide the other and then seek the "stand-in" (or pronoun). When not dispensing such practical advice, O'Conner provides interesting, visual examples: A verse about a traveling meatball illustrates how verbs (the "action figures" of language) work. Readers will enjoy her silly examples and poems, the seemingly irrelevant tangents off to which she dashes, and the joy that she takes in linguistic play. Lone readers moved to share the cartoons and humor will discover that they have become grammar teachers themselves. Every writing classroom needs multiple copies so that students can share and enjoy O'Conner's mirth while inadvertently soaking up her lessons. This fun resource will prove invaluable.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8
O'Conner has produced a grammar guide for children using the witty, lighthearted style that made Woe Is I (Putnam, 1996) so popular. She covers pronouns, plurals, possessives, verb usage, subject-verb agreement, capitalization, and punctuation with jargon-free explanations and entertaining examples (Shrek, Count Olaf, Garfield, and Harry Potter all put in appearances). Additional chapters on commonly confused and misspelled words, clichés, and instant messaging and e-mails make this a well-rounded and useful guide to grammar in the 21st century. The scattered comic-strip-style illustrations neither add to nor detract from its value. Handbooks that are as instructive as they are entertaining are few and far between, making this a first purchase for most libraries.
—Amanda RaklovitsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399243318
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/10/2007
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 254,757
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia T. O'Conner, a former editor at the New York Times Book Review, has written for many magazines and newspapers. She is the author of two other books on language and writing, Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing and You Send Me: Getting It Right When You Write Online.

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