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Algebra the Easy Way (Barron's E-Z) Paperback – January 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0764119729 ISBN-10: 0764119729 Edition: 4th

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Product Details

  • Series: Barron's E-Z
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 4 edition (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764119729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764119729
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

ALL THE ESSENTIALS IN ONE CLEAR VOLUME
  • High school-level algebra in the form of a fantasy novel
  • Solving practical problems with algebra
  • Hundreds of problems solved and explained
  • Diagrams and amusing line illustrations

  • Equations
  • Exponents
  • Polynomials
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Mathematical Induction . . . and much more

  • More About the Author

    Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

    Customer Reviews

    Making math fun is a good thing.
    Debra A. Berry
    Sadly, the authors chose not to provide step-by-step solutions for the more complicated problems in the exercise sections.
    Fred Carlsen
    I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in beginning the study of algebra.
    Karen L. Vandusen

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kersi Von Zerububbel VINE VOICE on December 2, 2000
    Format: Paperback
    I bought this book because the story format intrigued me. However, as I went along the narrative wore thin. The exercises are good and there are some very clever ways in which concepts are introduced. This book can be a great tool if only some of the narrative can be shortened. If you need a book that gets to the point quickly and succinctly go with "Practical Algebra: A self-teaching guide" by Selby et al.
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    23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By dmacleod@ucsd.edu on March 18, 1999
    Format: Paperback
    The device of attaching math problems to a story line, and showing the efforts of the characters to solve them, is the key to this book's unique appeal for younger kids who want to get into algebra (and can handle the abstract thinking required). It captures their interest and can be read relatively fast, though the algebra is not watered-down so the book naturally does require intelligence and careful attention. The story line presentation guarantees that the focus is on insight, a characteristic that sharply distinguishes this "Easy Way" series of books from typical high-school or college texts.
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    16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Eugene Wong on February 7, 2002
    Format: Paperback
    If you have (or are) that extra smart young kid, who always seems to be a grade (year) or two ahead of his/her class in maths, this book is certainly going to be perfect for him/her (as it was for me). This was the book that got me interested in Algebra. Downing takes the reader on an adventure, explaining the basics of algebra through a story, and progressing almost to the very apex of general algebra. (He doesn't cover every single aspect of general algebra - I recall one example: Synthetic Division, there are others.) But for a child, who's ahead of the rest, you don't need to have everything just yet.
    This book certainly won't appeal to adults or older teens (who will easily get bored and turned off by the underlying story), but it was a great introduction for me when I was just turning the decade mark. It really helps you to understand Algebra as more than a bunch of things to memorise; it makes you see applications in every aspect of life. Once you (or your child) have finished this book, you'll be thirsting for more, and that's when you move on to a more traditional textbook to fill in the "blanks". After that, algebra will be running through your veins. With this solid foundation, trigonometry and calculus will be much easier.
    (The author also wrote similar books on Trigonometry and Calculus. The Calculus book was quite poor because the story began to intrude on explaining the concepts properly. [By the time you are ready to take calculus on, you should use a traditional textbook - like Anton or Thomas.] The trigonometry book was quite good, but I feel none can match the brilliance of this book.)
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    35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Karen L. Vandusen on March 20, 2000
    Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    My oldest child has begun to study algebra in school. Algebra, the Easy Way is a wonderful addition to her classroom studies. This book's approach explains the whys of algebra. It takes students beyond the "just memorize" it way of learning alegebra. To use this book effectively, I strongly suggest readers do some of the problems at the end of each chapter. You'll find the answers in the back of the book. Students who complete this book will be well on their way to being able to use algebra.
    My younger children have taken an interest in the book, too. The book's story approach has sparked their interest. Because of their young ages, they are moving more slowly through the book than the older child. Nonetheless, the book's approach has made algebra seem like a very natural idea to them. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in beginning the study of algebra.
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    17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 2003
    Format: Paperback
    I recieved a copy of this book in elementary school, one year before they were to put me into an algebra class. I first started reading it not because I was interested in mathematics, but because I liked fantasy novels. The way the characters get sucked into the explanation of the whys behind the relationships between numbers, etc... that was what made me become interested in mathematics too.
    Unfortunately when I started algebra I was way ahead of the other kids in the class and found myself bored and unimpressed by the way the teacher took something so interesting and made it simply dull busy work. But I learned something important from this book -- I didn't need teachers to learn mathematics. I soon found myself learning calculus during my freshmen year of high school and when it came time to apply for college, guess what my major was? You got it - Math...
    I attribute it all to this book -- this is where my love of math began.
    So on one hand, you'll learn algebra and possibly find yourself with a passion for math, but you may also find yourself bored and ahead of your classmates as well.
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    10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sabalom Glitz on August 18, 2007
    Format: Paperback
    This book has an interesting approach and can sometimes present concepts in a practical way that can make them easier to understand. However, many concepts are glossed over very quickly and not explained well at all.

    What's worse, at least half the exercises at the end of each chapter require far more knowledge than was presented, leaving you shaking your head wondering how to solve them. Half the exercises involve word problems which can be very confusing. What's worse, the answers to those problems at the end of the book often don't explain how their solution was arrived at. Other reviewers suggest that some short-leaps are necessary to work those out. I disagree - some very long leaps are required as well as outside knowledge to solve them.

    The book seems to assume you already know algebra or have access to someone who does and can help you along. As a self-teaching guide, it is not very useful and proves to be a very time consuming exercise in frustration. I think most people should avoid this and would be better served by Practical Algebra written by Peter Selby and Steve Slavin, a book that does explain the concepts well and gets straight to the point.
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