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Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail Hardcover – August 2, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hudson Street Press; Later Printing edition (August 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594630399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594630392
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“McKellar is probably the only person on prime-time television who moonlights as a cyberspace math tutor.”
The New York Times

“[When] girls tell [Danica] that they’re studying math because of her, she says, ‘I feel I’m helping them find a talent they didn’t know they had.’”
People --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

More About the Author

Best known for her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, Danica McKellar graduated summa cum laude in mathematics from UCLA, went on to co-write a published math theorem, and continues to be an outspoken role model for young women to excel in math.

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Customer Reviews

When I read this book, I learned something.
Thomas Richardson
I highly recommend this book for middle school girls struggling with math.
Math teacher
Thanks to Danica McKellar for making smart girls cool.
S. J. Ortiz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

267 of 277 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Richardson on August 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When I was seven, my mother got a Mathematics degree. At 29, I got my own Mathematics degree -- and of 60 people that day who got Math bachelor degrees then and there with me, only three were women. My mother proved, and those three co-graduating women proved, and Danica proves now, that women can learn math. But that's not what junior-high and high school girls think, is it? Most teen girls think they're math-morons.

Danica has written this book for such math-panicked teen girls -- Danica has written this book not only to TEACH them, but to ENCOURAGE them: "You can learn this!"

The math covered in Danica's book is junior-high level -- Danica presumes that the reader already knows how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide; then Danica takes the reader up through Algebra I. Danica's math is solid; and Danica's explanations, easy to understand.

But this is not your brother's math book. If you flipped through the book quickly, not reading the text, the illustrations and all the girly-handwriting would make you think that it was a book about teen fashion. The book also has chapter headings like no other math book I've seen -- Chapter 7, for instance, is entitled, "Is Your Sister Trying to Cheat You Out of Your Fair Share? (Comparing Fractions)." Chapter 9, on complex fractions, starts out, "Say you're trying on an outfit for a party. You've got the dress, the shoes, and the earrings -- and now you're choosing the right necklace...."

Danica also includes three "testimonials" (profiles) of young women who are successful in their careers because they've mastered math. Rather than show three "Ugly Betties" or nerdettes, the three women profiled are BABES.
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138 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Julie Neal VINE VOICE on August 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What will this book teach your daughter? That she can work out math problems by herself. That she can learn to love math, and even excel at it. And that she can do these things while still being every bit as girlie as she wants to be. Makeup and math? Yes, this book says, you can love them both.

Will girls read it? I think so, because, unlike so many academic texts, "Math Doesn't Suck" is so much more than a study guide. Author McKellar -- yes, Winnie Cooper from "The Wonder Years" but also a summa cum laude math grad from UCLA -- combines a step-by-step approach to middle-school math concepts with lots of personal anecdotes (such as how she once struggled with particular math problems) as well as stories of how other feminine women have excelled in the subject. Also adding some insight is McKellar's 12-year-old goddaughter, Tori.

Best of all, McKellar makes her points well. Each chapter is devoted to just one topic (i.e., decimals, or factoring) and uses real-life situations (baby-sitting, shopping) that really make things easy to understand.

Overall the book's chapter titles are a little too pink-and-purple for my tastes, but then again I'm not the target audience. I'm not 13, striving to define myself while getting Paris Hilton, the Pussycat Dolls and Hooters commercials driven into my brain. Girls can be smart AND feminine? Math is for them? Say amen, somebody!
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Kansas City Dale on August 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came across this book based on a news article about Danica McKellar. As the proud father of two middle school aged children (one boy and one girl) I am already seeing how differently boys are treated than girls when it comes to Math and Science. The schools seem to teach math from the male point of view. I can easily explain a math concept to my son and he can understand it, but I have not been able to explain the same concept to my daughter.
The book arrived last week, and my daughter seems to always have her nose in it. The book isn't designed to be read cover to cover, but to jump around as topics interest you. We had terrible problems last year with fractions, but after reading the section of fractions, my daughter claims that "she gets it". I have never seen my daughter excited about Math like this. If you have a middle school daughter who is struggling with the concepts, this is a must read for her.

My only complaint is that Danica hasn't written a survival guide for science yet! I am ordering a second book as a gift for the 6th grade math teacher to help with other girls who are struggling.
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94 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. Chernick on May 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This Danica is as good looking as the racing Danica and a great actress. She's a math whiz too. Well as a trained mathematician I can assure you that she proves in this book that she knows math, is proud of it and want other high school and junior high school girls to appreciate it too. The book is filled with interesting ways of teach junior and senior high school math that makes it fun and exciting. She would be a great teacher too. I think her goal is to be a role model for other girls who have an aptitude for mathematics. Girls have always been discouraged and discriminated against in this field. I remember at my high school I was the best math student but Linda Cirillo was a close second. Yet I was the one who got the encouragement and her talents were ignored. Years later I came back to my home town and found that while I was now a professional mathematician she was a house wife raising children. I hope things have improved over the last forty years.

This is a great book to give a child in high school who needs a little help and boost of confidence in math. When an author ahs the art of making things exciting rather than boring the student may develop an interest and capability that he or she never dreamed of!
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