An excellent and enjoyable book. Worth having several copies around to loan to students. -- The American Mathematical Monthly
It's a remarkable little book by Kenn Amdahl, a poet and former math-phobe and Jim Loats, a math professor. Be advised that Algebra Unplugged does not take the approach that your high school math teacher and textbook took. It certainly answers some basic questions differently. Amdahl and Loats cover pretty much all the topics of first-year algebra and a great deal of earlier math that many kids don't really have a grip on. And they do it all in just 258 pages of remarkably readable and often hilarious text.
Both of my daughters read the book. One, a true math-phobe probably managed to pass algebra in ninth grade as much because of this little book as because of her teacher. My other daughter profited as well, though she's a math lover. Bruce M. Smith, managing editor. -- The Phi Delta Kappan, Feb 1998
Sometimes, despite endless explanations by teachers and dozens of homework assignments, students don't always grasp algebra. Some ask for help, others turn to books, hoping that one will explain things in language they can understand. This may be the book they are looking for. Explanations are short, humorous, and non technical. The authors convinced this reviewer that there is value in sneaking up on a potentially intimidating subject in this way, although I was not so sure at the beginning. -- Appraisal-Science Books for Young Adults
The book contains no exercises. Instead, it simply explains the concepts, vocabulary and strategies of algebra in understandable terms. -- Zentralblatt fuer Didaktic der Mathematik
The innovative author of There Are No Electrons asked math professor Jim Loats to teach him algebra. The result is this wonderful book which explains the basic concepts, vocabulary and strategies of algebra. No exercises, just clear writing, humor and information. -- The Genius Tribe
The volume's easy pace and the use of a game as a metaphor probably will appeal to the casual learner. The book's gentle, conversational, gamelike approach may be sufficient to reach the 'unreachable.' -- Science Books and Films
From the Back Cover
"I loved it!" Sheila Tobias, author of Overcoming Math Anxiety
"Ever read an algebra book for fun? Ever thought you would want to? Algebra Unplugged is just that sort of book- and innovative approach that does a great job taking the mystery and fear out of algebra. It's not a text book. You don't have to ever lift a pencil while reading it. Fascinating explanations of all the players in a first year algebra course. A must for anyone who is going to take algebra, dreaded it while taking it, or wants to brush up on it." Theoni Pappas, author of The Joy of Mathematics
"Algebra Unplugged is geared for the majority who are not good at math. Told with humor and understanding, it is an enjoyable book to read." Joan Harris, The Institute for Science and Society
"I very much enjoyed the book. A math book with lawyer jokes and stories of flogging tenors. It doesn't get any better than that." Thomas Seidenberg, Phillips Exeter Academy
"This book discusses algebra in a non-threatening, fun way." ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.