500 Words You Should Know

Firefly. Aug. 2018. 208p. illus. by George Walker. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780228101062. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781782432982. REF
Taggart (Back to Basics) groups words by theme (secrecy, the arts). A few definitions are more clever than clarifying, but the author doesn't intend to "teach or preach" but rather to delineate rich context and nuances of usage. Readers may quibble occasionally, but they'll also absorb pithy bits of etymology and information on historical and current use and, occasionally, pronunciation. Walker's black-and-white drawings set the mood for each section.
VERDICT A bracing addition to libraries serving ambitious middle school through adult readers.

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