As far as math goes, McKellar knows her stuff. With two girlcentric, best-selling titles under her belt (Math Doesn’t Suck, 2008, and Kiss My Math, 2009) and a degree in mathematics from UCLA, it is almost easy to forget that she was Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years. Facing down a 432-page book devoted to algebra could give even math whizzes pause, but McKellar makes it work, taking the textbook-meets-Seventeen approach by mixing the explanations and equations with boy talk, quizzes, and testimonials from successful women. While a tutor might use this title as a teaching aid, teen girls will want to explore it on their own. Navigation is easy; students are encouraged to hop from chapter to chapter as their homework demands. The breakdown of equations is effective and certainly unconventional—explaining functions in terms of sausage factories, for example, or exponents in terms of whip-bearing female executives (makes sense in the book, promise)—and while McKellar keeps her focus on how to solve math problems, her approach is both readable and even entertaining. --Courtney Jones
About the Author
Best known for her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, Danica McKellar is also an internationally recognized mathematician and advocate for math education. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA with a degree in Mathematics, Danica has been honored in Britain’s esteemed Journal of Physics and The New York Times for her work in mathematics, most notably for her role as co-author of a groundbreaking mathematical physics theorem, which bears her name (The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem.) Her passion for promoting girls’ math education began in 2000, when she was invited to speak before Congress on the importance of women in math and science. Since then, Danica has made it a priority to find time in her busy acting schedule to promote math education, often appearing around the country as a speaker at national mathematics conferences.