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273 of 283 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2007
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.

To me, the most amazing thing about her book is that she tells the "blank quiz" story about herself: In a seventh-grade math class, "[w]hen the bell rang and my quiz was still blank, I wanted to disappear into my chair. I just didn't want to EXIST."

When I read this book, I learned something. Not about math, but about people. Junior-high girls, in particular. I give this book a 4.99999999999999999...-star rating.
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138 of 146 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 2, 2007
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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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2009
I am a 38-year old mother of 5 who recently decided to go back to school. I took my placement test and tested into the lowest class available which was Basic Math. I was told that I could retake the test so I went to the library and checked out a bunch of math books to study and get prepared. I found Danica's book "Math Doesn't Suck" I read it first and read the entire book in one night. I loved it and everything began to make sense. I studied it for 2 weeks then went back and took my test again and tested into Intro to Algebra! I essentially skipped Basic Math and Pre-Algebra! This achievement has brought me renewed confidence in myself at a time when I need it most! It has saved me money and time that is so valuable to me. I live in Southern Ohio and am attending Hocking College! I am excited to read "Kiss my Math". Also I was told that she is writing a 3rd book in an email from her company. Thanks for writing a book that actually makes sense!
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2007
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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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 20, 2007
Having good math skills makes a person a better shopper and a better chef. Having good math skills simply makes an individual more confident in all areas of life. This is the message of this well written book. McKellar takes a step by step approach to math. I liked looking at the examples she provides, as I tried to solve the problems she includes in each chapter. Math Doesn't Suck is a good refresher for me, because I forgot a lot of things from my school days. I also learned new concepts like how to figure out rates and ratios. I enjoyed doing the fraction problems and algebra problems. They were challenging and fun for me to solve. I also enjoyed reading the testimonals from women who use math in their daily lives. There were interesting contributions from students and teachers and other professionals. I loved the contribution from Stephanie Peterson. She uses math on the job as a petroleum analyst, and she is also a professional actress. McKellar also shares personal experiences from her life. McKellar is an intelligent successful and humble young woman. Math Doesn't Suck is an educational and inspirational book. I loved it.
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94 of 107 people found the following review helpful
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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2007
It's true. Math Doesn't Suck. Too many kids - boys and girls - give up on math when they get to a rough patch. For many different reasons, they decide that they can't do math because they just don't get it or they won't do math because it's not relevant to their lives. McKellar's book dispels these myths by showing that quantitative reasoning really is relevant to the problems of everyday life, and that interesting examples can help illuminate difficult concepts for students with a wide range of interests. Readers interested in helping girls develop their math-brain even as their lives change might also be interested in Danger, Long Division, a novel for preteens about a fifth-grader who learns to solve her math problems even while struggling with tough family issues.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2009
First of all, I need to open with the fact that I'm 38 years old. Yes 38. I have to also say this book rocks and totally saved my bacon and is helping me fulfill my dream.

I know, maybe a bit dramatic , but it is the truth. I decided it would be a great time to go back to school and fulfill my dream of becoming a full-fledged RN. To get into a local programs, one of the requirements was to take the HESI A2 entrance exam. When I heard I would have to pass the math portion with a 75% or better, I started to sweat and almost decided to forget the whole thing right then and there. I was set up to take the test the following evening. That gave me 23 hours to try and figure out what to do.

I ran to my local Borders and after looking in the reference section I found the two books (Math Doesn't Suck and Kiss My Math). I bought both and studied(especially Math Doesn't Suck because when I see fractions, I break out in hives) until 1:00 am. I actually had fun. This is the part where you hear a record scratch and total silence. I have NEVER used the words "math" and "fun" in the same sentence...ever...seriously. "Math" and "self-injury" or "math" and "homicide" absolutely. "Math" and "fun" was so not ever used together!

Well, the following evening I took the test. When the first few questions popped up, I was on a roll! I couldn't believe how easy it was. I remembered all the methods (such as the "birthday cake" - one of my faves) and sailed through fractions, decimals, ratios, algebraic equations all without problem. Well, at the end of the 60 minutes of allotted time (I finished in 50), many people around me picked up their things and walked out of the room, dejected, obviously failing the test. I, on the other hand passed. Wait, not only did I pass, I passed with an 88%!! I felt like I had just climbed Mt. Everest. I am woman who can do math, hear me roar!

I have raved about this book to everyone I know. My son is currently taking a math class at the local University and using it as a reference. I also let a co-worker borrow it and she's enjoying reading it and getting a refresher course on her math skills.

These books are FABULOUS! You won't be sorry you purchased these.

By the way, I received my acceptance letter in the mail on Saturday! If all goes well with Financial Aid, I start the program on August 31st!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2007
This book has honestly changed my life. I have always struggled in Math and Danica presented the material in such a logical way that I now "get it". I highly recommend this book to anyone, at any age that has ever had a difficult time with Mathematics.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Life turns around, no wonder about it. Seeing a former TV star publishing a book teaching math concepts is something I see as "unbelievable", I mean, in the good meaning of it. More surprising - and even funny - was to read right on the beginning of the book that her life as an actress and being recognized for her acting was a nice thing, but made her feel empty most of times. So she wanted to be recognized for her intelligence and went for something which was more mentally demanding - mathematics - and as far as I understood, looks like she made it well.

The purpose of the book is great. Math is a complicated and boring subject on its formal approach, so she managed to write the same basic concepts in a more everyday language which could stimulate one to view and understand how numbers work naturally. She's right when she says that proficiency in math leads us to better logical reasoning and makes us smarter and more able to take the most reasonable decisions - in the rational sense.

This could perfectly be a book for the "Dummies" series, but, you know, its marketing appeal would not be as good as having Danica's image on the cover.
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