Kiss My Math: 09/11/10
My husband is a college math professor. He also runs a math tutoring site. His mother is a high school math teacher. My mother majored in math in college but later switched to marketing research. Math has always been part of my life. Even before I met my husband I never had the sense of math being a "boy thing." Nor do I remember being intimidated by it, except for a brief time in 5th grade where reciprocals were a completely alien concept.
That said, I am aware that many young women have felt intimidated by math and I've witnessed the extra competitiveness women are put through in college when they chose to major in math. Why they should have to prove themselves is nonsensical and maddening.
So when I saw Kiss My Math by Danica McKellar on prominent display at my local library I had to check it out. No, I wasn't thinking about the actress who played Winnie on The Wonder Years when I checked out the book. No, I was thinking, "A math book aimed only a girls, how insulting!" After that I took a calming breath, counted to ten, and decided I should read the book before I passed judgement on it.
By the end of the first chapter though, I was madly in love with the book. First and foremost, McKellar includes many personal stories about how she ended up majoring in math and how she struggled with the subject in junior and senior high school. So the book is part memoir along with being a pre-Algebra book.
The book is written in a chatty style with it's own over the top lingo in the same vein as the Georgia Nicholson books by Louise Rennison. The math though, is solid. The instruction is given in an engaging and humorous way and there are enough problem sets to help the lessons stick.
I loved the book so much that when I heard about Hot X coming out, I put it on my wishlist. I now have an ARC to read and review in the upcoming months.
Comment #1: Sunday, September, 12, 2010 at 10:03:43
What an interesting book! I have a couple of Maths books but nothing like this one. I think this is worth checking out.
Comment #2: Monday, September 13, 2010 at 21:54:00
It's the second of a three book series. The other two are Math Doesn't Suck and Hot X.
Comment #3: Sunday, September, 12, 2010 at 10:06:54
Yay for cool math books! I'm not a strong math chick myself but anyone who encourages people to excel in math is awesome.
Comment #4: Monday, September 13, 2010 at 21:56:00
You could learn a thing or two by reading this book while being entertained.
Comment #5: Sunday, September, 12, 2010 at 14:06:14
I cannot get any of my students to read these. They are great books, but very few students are that interested in math. Which, I know, is the whole point of the book. Sigh.
Comment #6: Monday, September 13, 2010 at 21:58:40
Not even for extra credit?
Comment #7: Monday, September, 13, 2010 at 22:41:42
I just picked up Math Doesn't Suck for my 6th grader - I should probably get this one, too! Do you know if this one is for older or younger kids than the one I have?
Comment #8: Monday, September 13, 2010 at 21:59:24
The books are written to build on each other. So Kiss My Math begins where Math Doesn't Suck ends. Hot X then goes the next step. The first teaches basic math skills, the second is pre algebra and the third is algebra.