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Test of Time: A Novel Approach to the SAT and ACT (Harvest Original) Paperback – May 17, 2004


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Test of Time: A Novel Approach to the SAT and ACT (Harvest Original) + Tooth and Nail: A Novel Approach to the New SAT + The Ring of McAllister: A Score-Raising Mystery Featuring 1,046 Must-Know SAT Vocabulary Words (Kaplan Test Prep)
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Product Details

  • Series: Harvest Original
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (May 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156011379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156011372
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–Flashing back and forth between the present and late-19th-century Connecticut, Test of Time stars Mark Twain, whose Huckleberry Finn manuscript mysteriously vanishes into thin air from his desk, only to be replaced with the laptop computer belonging to modern-day university student Orlando Ortiz. Such an intriguing plot twist could potentially evolve into a quirky, suspenseful time-travel mystery in which Orlando and Twain devise a plan to retrieve their respective belongings. But the book also hopes to serve as a learning tool for the verbal portions of standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. Unfortunately, readers get bogged down not only by a flat narrative, but also by oddly placed, boldface vocabulary words embedded into the text. These test words, which repeatedly number well over a dozen per page, render the novel virtually unreadable and negate the attempt to promote vocabulary improvement through pleasure reading. Often three to five bold words are lumped into a single sentence, which could hamper readers' ability to deduce definitions from their context. And even though there is some interestingly believable teen speak scattered throughout, the book will still take almost as much work to get through as the usual SAT or ACT study manuals.–Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

PRAISE FOR TOOTH AND NAIL
“A mystery story, at once whimsical and elucidating, filled with
hundreds of SAT examiner’s favorite test words.”
—LOS ANGELES TIMES
“An SAT prep tool that practically spoon-feeds a plenitude of . . .
beneficial vocabulary to a plethora of adroit high school students.”
—HOUSTON CHRONICLE
“A superlative SAT strategy.A unique ... guide toward an SAT score of
which you can be proud.”—COLLEGE BOUND

More About the Author

Charles Harrington Elster is a writer, broadcaster, and logophile--a lover of words.

He is the author of the popular vocabulary-building program "Verbal Advantage." His other books include "Tooth and Nail" and "Test of Time," vocabulary-building novels for high school students preparing to take the college entrance exams; "There's a Word for It," a lighthearted look at unusual--and unusually useful--words; "What in the Word?" a salmagundi of word lore, wordplay, and advice on usage and pronunciation; and "The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations," now in its second edition, which the late William Safire of The New York Times hailed as "the best survey of the spoken field in years."

Charlie's latest book, "The Accidents of Style: Good Advice on How Not to Write Badly," was published in July 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin. He is currently writing a vocabulary-building companion to "Verbal Advantage" called "Word Workout."

Charlie was a consultant for "Garner's Modern American Usage" and the pronunciation editor for the seventh and eighth editions of "Black's Law Dictionary." He was a guest contributor to William Safire's "On Language" column in The New York Times Magazine, and his articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and other publications.

Charlie has also been talking about language on the radio since 1985. He has been interviewed on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," "Weekend Edition," and "All Things Considered" and been a guest on hundreds of radio shows around the country. For five and a half years he cohosted a weekly public radio talk show on language called "A Way with Words."

Charlie was born in New York City in 1957 and earned his B.A. cum laude from Yale in 1981. He lives in San Diego with his wife and two daughters.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul Pscolka on November 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an SAT tutor and have found this book and others like it valuable to my students. Charles Harrington Elster is a master of his craft; unlike some other books of this type, his vocabulary and grammar are impeccable.* As a result, this book is very well written. What a great idea for a book-- Mark Twain in 21st century college America. Test of Time is informative and entertaining. Its ending is a bit sudden and far-fetched, though.

*Believe it or not, there are SAT vocab-building books that have poor definitions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Schmidt on January 3, 2007
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My 12-year-old son read this book along with another vocabulary-building novel prior to taking the ACT for a regional talent search. He actually liked the story and was able to name and discuss new words from the text. I think this would be good for any test prep that requires vocabulary including the GRE. This is not a waste of money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Happy-go-lucky on January 30, 2009
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Though a late learner in my forties, I bought this book a few years ago from this website.
I've loved this unputdownable book for the plot, humour, wit and much more. This book was so brillantly written that I bought other books by the same author, Charles Harrington Elster.
The beginning of this book was hillarious with character Mark Twain's antics - really funny! At first reading, I laughed much at the descriptions of Twain's comical dancing steps and language, all the anachronistic types that he had learned from the future - all those ilks that shell-shocked Twain's strait-laced contemporaries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 15, 2008
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This is a good book that will build your SAT vocabulary. The book is a fun read so you will not get bored as you are learning new words. Great for high schoolers.(and parents too)
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I always recommend this to High School kids to read and prepare for the SAT and ACT, and college prep.
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