Deductive reasoning at its finest. Mind Benders books help students (and adults) learn and practice deductive reasoning as they are presented with clues to unravel and organize in order to reach logical conclusions. Becoming proficient in deductive reasoning will not only improve standardized test scores, but will help sharpen reasoning ability in all curriculum areas and in real life situations. As a child, I particularly enjoyed working these clue-and-grid type problems and consumed puzzle books full of them just for fun. I never gave a thought to their educational value. But perhaps it's no coincidence that I ended up a computer systems consultant..... Anyone doing Mind Benders for the first time should begin in the Verbal or Book 3 level to learn the deductive reasoning process before trying the more challenging levels. The original books are leveled A1-C3, and were out of print, but some levels are now available again. These original titles contained in one book. Where the original levels had 14 puzzles per book, most of the new versions include about 25-26. Surprisingly, the new books are about the same size (and similar price!), perhaps because they have condensed each puzzle onto one page where originally the clues were on one page and the grid on the other. Puzzles spiral slightly within each level and solutions are included in the books. For each new level below, we have noted the old versions included in parentheses.
Although Mind Benders Verbal is considered the introductory book in the Mind Benders series, Critical Thinking also provides two Beginner Levels (Books 1 and 2) which introduce deductive thinking in the format of the grid puzzle. While the Verbal includes questions like “Skip likes cake better than pie. He likes ice cream better than cake. What conclusion follows from this?” that guide the student to use their deductive reasoning skills, no clue and grid puzzles are included in this book. Instead, Verbal contains 100 brief exercises that introduce younger students to the critical thinking process. Books 1 and 2 each feature an instructional page at the beginning that demonstrates how to use a grid chart, and the grid puzzles that follow utilize pictures and simple words wherever possible so beginning readers aren’t more frustrated by the sentences than they are by the puzzles. Answer keys are included.