11 Plus Vocabulary Book Reviews and Recommendations

There are very few books that focus solely on vocabulary development and more often than not our experience is that parents can sometimes be persuaded to buy the wrong book at the wrong time.

This section is intended to help parents make the right choices when buying books to help vocabulary development.

Let’s think about reading books to aid vocabulary development

Children need to be reading every day and we suggest they always have a book on the go in addition to the book they are reading at school. This can be something they enjoy reading.

We have produced reading lists for children who are reluctant readers

Reading list for reluctant readers aged 7-9

Reading list for reluctant readers aged 9-11

If your child reads fluently and enjoys reading then as long as they are reading every day they will be getting enormous benefit from it. Reading is one of the key activities which boost vocabulary breadth.

We do know that children will benefit from reading classic books so we have taken the time to prepare a classic book reading list. This classic book reading list starts with books for younger readers and graduates to more complex texts.

11 Plus classic book reading list.

Spelling Development books

Vocabulary development and spelling development go hand in hand. We have reviewed the whole spelling market for suitable publications and our recommendations are as follows:

Year Three Spelling Development Books

During year three you should really focus all your efforts on reading and making sure your child is reading as much as possible. If you want to do some additional spelling then use the following book :

Complete Graded Spelling List- Kits Educational Publishing

This book is just spelling lists, no games, no puzzles but where schools are not giving out weekly spelling or where your child is sufficiently advanced to want extra work this is a useful book. Do not move too quickly.

If children are particularly advanced then you could start the following book towards the end of year three.

The Essential Spelling Book 1 – Schonell

This book contains both words to learn and puzzles to help embed new words. It is also useful for developing vocabulary as children will encounter new words along the way.

Year Four Spelling Development Books

Start with :

Schonell – The Essential Spelling Book 1

then move on to and complete

Schonell- the Essential Spelling Book 2 during year 4.

These two books will give children a real head start and in conjunction with reading every day will ensure their spelling and vocabulary develops properly.

Year Five Spelling Development Books

As the core book for year five and into year six use:

Schonell – The Essential Spelling Book 3

If books 1 and 2 have not been done in previous years then you may want to start with book 2


 11 Plus Vocabulary Development Books

There are no books available which will deliver a fully balanced vocabulary development process but are there are some books available which will help. Some of the titles of these books are confusing and imply they are suitable for a more advanced level than is actually the case so this is something to watch out for.

Year Four Vocabulary Development Books

Rose McGowan- 11 Plus Vocabulary .

This book provides a useful canter through some very useful aspects of spelling and vocabulary development but is not at a high enough  level  of  complexity nor in great enough detail to be suitable for a final year preparation solution. In our view year four pupils will though find it both useful and interesting. Pupils can go through it during year four doing two or three pages a week. The short exercises are useful as after school work and will benefit most year four pupils.

AE Tuition Spelling and Vocabulary Book 4

AE Tuition Spelling and Vocabulary Book 5

AE Tuition Spelling and Vocabulary Book 6

AE Tuition Spelling and Vocabulary Book 7

These books do provide a good way of enhancing vocabulary and spelling although as a group they may be more than some parents want to tackle.

Exploring Vocabulary- McGraw Hill

This is a good book for this age level BUT watch out because it is an American book. Most of the exercises are fine for use in the UK but the odd one here or there is overly American and is either culturally not relevant for the UK or uses Americanised spelling.

Schofield and Sims Springboard Book 5

Schofield and Sims Springboard Book 6

These are good books and provide a healthy mix of spelling and vocabulary development alongside developing other English skills. These books are recommended in the main English books section. These books are commonly used in schools

Year 5 and 6 Vocabulary Development Books

Mastering Vocabulary- McGraw Hill

This book is age appropriate and is useful for vocabulary development. Again be warned that there will be some American turns of phrase and spelling that won’t be suitable but overall in a market that lacks good vocabulary books this is a good option.

AE Tuition Spelling and Vocabulary Book 8

AE Tuition Spelling and Vocabulary Book 9

AE Tuition Spelling and Vocabulary Book 10

AE Tuition Spelling and Vocabulary Book 11

AE Tuition Spelling and Vocabulary Book 12

These books are useful and if you have the stamina and budget to go through them all will help boost vocabulary levels.

Schofield and Sims – Springboard 7

Schofield and Sims – Springboard 8

Good books which are used in schools and which include a lot of vocabulary development work in varied forms. Be aware though that no answers are published for these books