Super Grammar: Learn Grammar with Superheroes!

Super Grammar: Learn Grammar with Superheroes! illus. by Rhode Montijo. 176p. Scholastic. 2012. pap. $8.99. ISBN 978-0-545-42515-5.
Gr 4–8—Reluctant grammar students will be drawn to this comprehensive overview presented in the guise of a superhero guidebook. Preciado gives a clear and engaging introduction, treating each element of sentence structure, part of speech, and punctuation mark as a superhero character with specific powers. Each power is given a concise description, complete with adventure-themed examples reminiscent of classic TV and comic-book situations ("The mutant insects destroy entire cities"). These grammar "superheroes" are cleverly cast as members of various teams, "The Completion Team!" (Parts of a Sentence), "The Amazing Eight!" (Parts of Speech), and "The Super Symbols!" (Punctuation Marks), which form the organization of the book. Together, they have a mission to fight the sworn enemies of good grammar, "The Sabotage Squad!" These villains are the common grammatical mistakes that can prevent a sentence from being strong and correct. Preciado calls on readers to fight for correct grammar, explaining that the superheroes believe that "every sentence, no matter its message, no matter its size, and no matter its complexity, is worth fighting for." Montijo's vibrant, comic-style illustrations nicely complement the narrative tone and are more intuitive than those in similarly styled works. In typical character guidebook fashion, each of the superheroes receives an introductory full-page illustration. Montijo's choices are thoughtful, with expressions and postures clearly indicating the hero's skill or purpose. Additional action-packed illustrations accompany each of the grammar examples. This work stands up to other traditional grammar resources that libraries may already own, but is sure to outshine them with its broad appeal.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, Farmington Hills, MI

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