Grammar for Novices

By Joe Hayden
Marion Street Press, $9.95, 96 pages

By author Joe Hayden’s own admission in the introduction, The Little Grammar Book: First Aid for Writers is a short guide outlining how to fix basic grammatical problems without delving into the intricacies. Under a hundred pages long, this book uses illustrations, charts and various font sizes to transmit the information to readers: the names of different parts of a sentence, how to fix fragments or run-on sentences and how to use punctuation. It doesn’t provide information on all aspects of grammar, as a conventional book would do, but concentrates on several most common grammatical mistakes. As an example, in the back there are a few commonly misspelled words, such as the three following homonyms: there, their and they’re.

“Grammar is the foundation of writing, the infrastructure that transmits ideas.”

It’s unfortunate that this book is marketed toward working adults because with its rudimentary lessons, miniature quizzes, juvenile sketches and compact length, it would really be better advertised for high school students rather than for writers. The author shows that dealing with grammar could be fun. This book also would be a great purchase for a middle school student who is just beginning to consistently write papers for classes.

Reviewed By Sarah Hutchins

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