While flipping through, I noticed that the sample reading piece was about Isaac Asimov, so of course I stopped to read it. Very quickly, the parent in me wanted to burn it. The writing teacher and editor in me wanted to take a red pen to it. I decided to let the more constructive personality win out.
It is one seriously crappy piece of writing. Granted, some of this is subjective. But while you can argue about individual criticisms, the weight of the evidence for crappiness is overwhelming. And, as my daughter pointed out, it’s being presented to kids as exemplary; something upon which they should model their own writing. That's just so very wrong.
For those not interested in deciphering my red-pen chicken scratch, here are the highlights: bad grammar, typos, jargon, passive voice, awkward phrasing, juvenile tone, clichés, ambiguous wording, and worst of all, the most interesting question in the piece is never answered. As an extra bonus, I’m including two multiple choice questions which, with my Ivy League BA and MA in English lit, and my Ivy League MS in journalism, I cannot answer with any confidence.
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Adding: It seems I forgot to mention that the entire piece is dull as dishwater, if you'll pardon the cliché. Would you want to run out and get your hands on some Asimov after reading this? No? But, I mean, ASIMOV!!!!!! THE BEST!!!!! Everyone knows superlatives and exclamation points add interest to any piece of writing.