Marino Mission / Mayan Mission

“One Girl. One Mission. One Thousand Words.” Kids will hardly know they are studying 1000 vocabulary words for the SAT exam! Marino Mission is a story about Alexa whose parents are separating. They are both science professors. While Dad has a solid career at Cornell, Mom is an unemployed marine biologist. Alexa ends up going with her Mom for the summer to a marina in Nicaragua. Her adventures with a special dolphin (indicated by a tattoo on the book’s cover) and a local boy named Jose lead to a mystery on an island. Mayan Mission catches up with Alexa and Jose at the ruins of an ancient Mayan temple. They uncover a scheme to sell priceless artifacts on the black market in this fast-paced adventure.

As your teens read these quick-moving stories, they are learning new vocabulary as foot-notes in the context of a novel. I think this is a really clever concept. Memorizing lists is not a fun way to study for the SATs. Students can read these books, learn new words in context, and then make some flash cards to study. In the back of the books are chapter-by-chapter lists and practice quizzes over the new words in multiple choice format (like the SAT). An alphabetical vocabulary list is also in the back of this clever book. The stories will appeal to teenagers, making these books an ideal tool to feed them some exam practice. Sara

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