New Start Suspense Series

The New Start Suspense Series is a series of six short novels by Patricia Birtwistle that consists of exciting stories of intrigue and suspense. Each story follows the same group of five characters on a new adventure. As with most "high-interest low vocabulary" readers, the content is appealing to most students ages 10 and older, while the author uses shorter sentences and simpler vocabulary typical of a second to third grade reading level.

Each story is divided into short, manageable chapters, and uses a carefully controlled vocabulary and frequently repeated words to reinforce reading success. Included with the set of six paperback novels is a comprehensive Resource Guide that includes story summaries, discussion questions, and a vocabulary list that is sorted by vowel words, word families, and sight words.

The characters are well developed and the stories are fun to read. The story endings cleverly lead into the next story, encouraging the reader to keep reading. Each successive book seemed to use a bit more advanced vocabulary and increasingly complex sentences.

(Review by Tammy Takahashi in California Home Schooler Newsletter)