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Calculator Riddles Paperback – September 1, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6?"It's strange. These come in many different sizes but they are always exactly one foot long." What's the answer? You figure it out by doing the following problem using your calculator: 53 x 40 x 5 + 9 x 5=? The mathematical answer is 53045. But how does that help solve the riddle? To find the answer, turn your calculator upside down and you will see the word "shoes." There are 45 similar entries and many are so unexpected that youngsters will shout with laughter. Once they try the first one, they'll be hooked and won't rest until they've worked out every one. Adler begins with an excellent introduction on how to play the calculator riddle game and ends with a page of answers. Fisher's black-and-white cartoon illustrations provide marvelous humor. A worthwhile addition by any calculation.?Suzanne Hawley, Laurel Oak Elementary School, Naples, FL
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-5. Viewed upside down, most of the numbers on a calculator's display look like letters. For years, children have been spelling words with hand-held calculators, but Adler takes the game a step further. He poses a series of riddles, each accompanied by an arithmetic problem involving some combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Solve the math problem with a calculator, turn the calculator upside down, and you have the answer to the riddle. Ink drawings with gray washes set a humorous tone, but these aren't the funniest riddles around. Still, children playing around with calculators may find the book's novelty reason enough to pursue the answers. Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (P) (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823412695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823412693
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I write both fiction and non-fiction. I begin my fiction with the main character. The story comes later. Of course, since I'll be spending a lot of time with each main character, why not have him or her be someone I like? Andy Russell is based, loosely, on a beloved member of my family. He's fun to write about and the boy who inspired the character is even more fun to know. Cam Jansen is based even more loosely on a classmate of mine in the first grade whom we all envied because we thought he had a photographic memory. Now, especially when my children remind me of some promise they said I made, I really envy Cam's amazing memory. I have really enjoyed writing about Cam Jansen and her many adventures. For my books of non-fiction I write about subjects I find fascinating. My first biography was Our Golda: The Life of Golda Meir. To research that book, I bought a 1905 set of encyclopedia. Those books told me what each of the places Golda Meir lived in were like when she lived there. I've written many other biographies, including books about Martin Luther King, Jr; George Washington; Abraham Lincoln; Helen Keller; Harriet Tubman; Anne Frank; and many others in my Picture Book Biography series. I've been a Yankee and a Lou Gehrig fan for decades so I wrote Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man. It's more the story of his great courage than his baseball playing. Children face all sorts of challenges and it's my hope that some will be inspired by the courage of Lou Gehrig. I am working now on another book about a courageous man, Janusz Korczak. My book One Yellow Daffodil is fiction, too, but it's based on scores of interviews I did with Holocaust survivors for my books We Remember the Holocaust, Child of the Warsaw Ghetto, The Number on My Grandfather's Arm, and Hiding from the Nazis. The stories I heard were compelling. One Yellow Daffodil is both a look to the past and to the future, and expresses my belief in the great spirit and strength of our children. I love math and was a math teacher for many years, so it was fun for me to write several math books including Fraction Fun, Calculator Riddles, and Shape Up! Fun with Triangles and Other Polygons. In my office I have this sign, "Don't Think. Just Write!" and that's how I work. I try not to worry about each word, even each sentence or paragraph. For me stories evolve. Writing is a process. I rewrite each sentence, each manuscript, many times. And I work with my editors. I look forward to their suggestions, their help in the almost endless rewrite process. Well, it's time to get back to dreaming, and to writing, my dream of a job. David A. Adler is the author of more than 175 children's books, including the Young Cam Jansen series. He lives in Woodmere, New York.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peregrinn VINE VOICE on April 10, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As stated, the riddles are fun, and they encourage young kids to get used to punching buttons on a calculator. But beware of getting this book for kids in grades 5 and above, since the math equations work only if a child mindlessly follows the operations in the order listed. For students learning the rules for "order of operations" (like my son's 5th grade), these equations are not in proper form. For example: "I can be big. I can be small. But big or small, I weigh nothing at all. What am I?" The answer says: 20 x 25 - 37 x 8. You can get the intended answer (3704 or HOLE) by following the steps exactly as written. But if you read this equation by the mathematical rules learned in pre-algebra or higher, you'll know that all multiplication steps should be done BEFORE addition steps and you'll get the wrong answer! You'll get (20 x 25) - (37 x 8) = 500 - 296 = 204. My son's calculator is programmed to follow these math rules, so it gives the wrong (but mathematically right!) answer. Few kids (or adults!) will care about my objection, but I wanted to point it out so that math teachers don't contradict their own lessons by using these riddles for classroom fun. Of course, you can steal the riddle and re-write the equations using parentheses to be mathematically accurate (as I did)! (20 x 25 - 37) x 8 = 3704 or HOLE.
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By mathteacher on October 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
As previous reviewers noticed, this book contradicts everything students learn in school about the order of operations. I am kind of surprised to find out that the author is a former math teacher! It is so confusing to kids when we send them mixed messages. Math is hard for many students, and books like this one make it even more confusing. It also makes them think that math is important only in a classroom, but outside the classroom it is irrelevant.
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Format: Paperback
As a math books go this is at the bottom of the barrel. The author was never taught that math operations are to be done in a particular order. Consequently many of the problems do not arrive at their intended target "answer". PEMDAS (Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally) is a good way to remember what is done first. Parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition/subtraction.
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