Language Mechanic

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  • Reviewed on Sunday, April 19, 2009
  • Grades Used: 6th grade
  • Dates used: 2008/09
This text is presented in a user friendly format but the examples given frequently do not reflect customary english. For example: a lesson on adj/adv uses the sentence "He painted her sad." (written incorrectly to mean "A man is sad as he paints a picture of a smiling woman") The suggested correction is "He painted her sadly." More traditionally one would write "He sadly painted the smiling woman" or "He sadly painted her." This type of usage oddity appears often in the book. Perhaps a younger student would 'get' the point more easily but my bright but reluctant reader is confused by it. I have been pleased with Editor-in-Chief (same publisher) but cannot say that this book has been on our favored list.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, June 22, 2005
  • Grades Used: Grades 4-8
  • Dates used: Sept 2004- May 2005
I sent an e-mail to the company last fall to complain. It seems that this book has broken the cardinal rule for grammar lessons. As we all know grammar is supposed to be the most boring course you take. Well, this book actually had my son (an avowed school hater) begging for more lessons and giggling his delighted way through grammar!
Language Mechanic works like this. In the short lessons a rule is presented. Then an example of what happens when the rule is broken is given. The results are often humerous. By presenting the logic behind the rule, the lesson is learned much quicker and sticks far better. The book therefore does not have a lot of rote excercises, but the excercises are very effective.
This book is especially good I believe for gifted students and for boys who like to analyze the why behind what we do. I used it in conjunction with Editor in Chief (also by the Critical Thinking Company) with excellent results. I give my hightest recommendation to this book!