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23 Reviews
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally... Something to read to my child to show him everyone learns differently
You would have thought that telling my child over and over (and over!)again that other children, and me his mother, have the same struggles with learning math would have made him feel a little less alone in the 3rd grade math world, but it didn't. A parent can only tell a child that everyone learns differently so much. After my son read this book he finally believed me...
Published on July 28, 2008 by Laura

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing ending
My grandson brought this book home as part of a summer enrichment program and we read it together. It is wonderfully illustrated, and author did a good job of showing that kids who have difficulty with one kind of learning situation (in this case, timed math quizzes) have strengths in other areas that should be encouraged. [...]

I think this is a great idea...
Published on July 6, 2008 by LambertLady


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally... Something to read to my child to show him everyone learns differently, July 28, 2008
By 
This review is from: Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class (Adventures of Everyday Geniuses) (Hardcover)
You would have thought that telling my child over and over (and over!)again that other children, and me his mother, have the same struggles with learning math would have made him feel a little less alone in the 3rd grade math world, but it didn't. A parent can only tell a child that everyone learns differently so much. After my son read this book he finally believed me! We talked about how I was when I was a child and how I even have struggle now. Reading this book has opened up this connection with my son that i never thought possible. He saw himself in this book; he made connections that finally turned the switch on for him. Thank you Barb for thinking of our children and creating these great books!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect books for kids that learn differently, January 15, 2009
This review is from: Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class (Adventures of Everyday Geniuses) (Hardcover)
My son received all the books in this series for Christmas. He loved them so much. I searched for the right book to give him for a few months, and I am so glad I picked these. He really seemed to connect with them. I think he is so used to everything being so formal when it comes to myself and his teachers talking about the way he learns. These are the first books that took him to a place all to himself, a place where he could connect as a kid. I love these books, and if you have a child with a different learning style these are the books for them!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Students With Math/Test Anxiety, September 7, 2011
By 
Beverly L. Archer (Colorado Springs, CO) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class (Adventures of Everyday Geniuses) (Hardcover)
Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class by Barbara Esham

From the back of the book: "One by one, Max's classmates turn in their finished papers before the timer rings. Not Max, as soon as the teacher starts the time, "it" happens! His heart begins to pound. Once his heart begins to pound, his hands begin to sweat and his brain freezes! Math must not be his thing."

What I liked about this book: This is another excellent book for students who learn differently or even just any student who is anxious about learning, especially learning math or taking tests. This story is a good reminder that not every child learns the same way. As parents and educators it is important to help students find the right path to learning. This story also reminds us that students are often smarter than they realize. Any student who has gotten butterflies in their stomach over a test or felt the frustration of being last one to finish, will identify with this book. (I'm quite a bit older than Max and yet I knew just how he felt when the teacher brought out the timer.)

What I didn't like about the book: I liked it all. I highly recommend it for all elementary classroom libraries. I've already added it to the wish list for the Endeavour library.

Recommended for ages 6 and up.

AR level: Not listed on AR.

Mrs. Archer's rating: 5 of 5!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for my son with special needs, February 27, 2013
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This review is from: Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class (Adventures of Everyday Geniuses) (Hardcover)
My 9-yr-old son with Dyspraxia perfectly related to 'Max' in this book and to the buzzer situation. When we first read the book together, he jumped up with a huge smile on his face, exclaiming "HE IS JUST LIKE ME!!"

Thanks for writing a book series about kids who are geniuses in their own worlds, but struggle to fit into the typical mold... what a difference it made to my son! :)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing ending, July 6, 2008
This review is from: Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class (Adventures of Everyday Geniuses) (Hardcover)
My grandson brought this book home as part of a summer enrichment program and we read it together. It is wonderfully illustrated, and author did a good job of showing that kids who have difficulty with one kind of learning situation (in this case, timed math quizzes) have strengths in other areas that should be encouraged. [...]

I think this is a great idea for a series and will be interested to see the other books in it, I just hope they don't show the kids handling stress so poorly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My 7-year-old *loved* this!, February 18, 2013
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After reading Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have The Wiggle Fidgets, my son wanted to read all the books in the Adventures of Everyday Geniuses series. This was the next one we bought. He couldn't wait to get his hands on my Kindle and devoured it immediately. Then he read it again! This story has a great lesson: Learning math is important, but not everybody learns and understands in the same way. My boy is very good at math, but he still found this book reassuring, because it's told from the kid's point of view and is very accepting and sympathetic. Every kid (and adult) has faced the frustration of blanking out under pressure; "Last to Finish" helps kids understand that there are many different types of intelligence, and they don't all shine during timed tests. Highly recommended, even for kids who excel academically. (They may be the ones under the most pressure of all....)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me cry, July 8, 2013
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There is hope. I am so glad these books are available. Now maybe my kids won't feel so alone in their struggles with school.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story :), April 5, 2013
This is a good book to share with any age classroom. It is a good representation of different learning styles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Any Child Struggling in School and Their Parents, November 16, 2010
This review is from: Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class (Adventures of Everyday Geniuses) (Hardcover)
Do you have a student or child that struggles in math? Maybe the child does well on daily assignments but poorly on test. Are you the frustrated parents with a high aptitude in math, but Johnny or Susie cannot even memorize their multiplication facts? If so, I strongly recommend you read this book, "Last to Finish: A Story about the Smartest Boy in Math Class", by Barbara Esham.

First, any child that has not memorized his multiplication facts or experiences test anxiety will identify with the main character, Max. Max is a 3rd grader who says he can complete his math facts if he takes his time. However, whenever the teacher uses the almighty timer, his brain freezes, and he is the last to finish with practically a blank paper. Thus, his classmates make fun of him. Did I mention he somehow loses his math folder, and to make matters worse his parents and he are called in for a parent - teacher conference? I won't spoil the end, but your child, your student, and you will have renewed hope and encouragement.

Secondly, the story reminds us that every child does not learn the same. This fun story filled with illustrations could be used to start a conversation about learning styles and learning obstacles. Just because Max or your child has a challenge with multiplication facts does not mean they will be poor math students. In the middle of your smiles and little laughs while reading, "Last to Finish", I think teachers and parents will give thought about their expectations, teaching strategies, and the wise advise shared. In addition the author reassures children that others have overcome obstacles, and there is hope and help available. Bottom line, not all smart people are good at everything!

Lastly, I like how the author has given the reader a snapshot of a realistic story supported with research. In the back of the book, the author shares resources for parents, teachers, and of course the kids. In fact, "Last to Finish: A story about the Smartest Math Boy in Class", is part of a series entitled, "Adventures of Everyday Geniuses" and received the Parents' Choice 2008 Recommended Award.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! Buying them all!, January 6, 2013
By 
Amazon Customer (OCONOMOWOC, WI, US) - See all my reviews
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As a child therapist, who also has a spirited and quirky little guy at home, and who has more than a few quirks of her own, I highly recommend this series! It puts narrative therapy practices to work using great stories that help the reader recognize that while neurological differences such as learning disorders, ADHD, and Asperger's Syndrome can create obstacles in daily life, they also infuse the child with wonderfully unique strengths and gifts they wouldn't otherwise have.

In line with strength-based treatment, the characters model creative problem-solving within a support system that draws on the child's unique strengths and personal perspective on the situation. In my experience, the most delightful part of treatment is that moment when a kid can see his difficulties as something tangible, external, and surmountable, and not an indication that they are " bad" or "defective." These books capture the powerful recognition that the child isn't the "problem," but the problem-solver! I'll be watching for more from this wonderful author!
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Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class (Adventures of Everyday Geniuses)
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