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Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail Paperback – July 1, 2008
The Amazon Book Review
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"McKellar... may well have done more to encourage girls to stick with math than any government task force... the wildly enthusiastic response [her books] have received speaks to the effect that can be achieved by reworking the contents of standard math and science problems and countering the perception that boys won't like girls who are smart."—Eileen Pollack, The New York Times
"Exhorts her female readers not to fall prey to others' low expectations, especially expectations that are based on deeply ingrained stereotypes stemming from one's appearance... McKellar genuinely wants to change the way girls view intelligence and, more importantly, themselves... McKellar hopes to revise the girly image of dim-bulbs with a new formulation: Smart is sexy. And that's an equation we all can understand."—Erica Stalnecker, National Review
About the Author
Danica McKellar is a New York Times bestselling author of groundbreaking math books, including Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math, Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape, Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss, Hot X: Algebra Exposed!, and the Goodnight, Numbers series of children's books, and is a summa cum laude graduate of UCLA with a degree in mathematics. She is also well known for her acting roles on The Wonder Years, The West Wing, and multiple Hallmark Channel movies, and as a quarterfinalist on Dancing with the Stars. She lives with her family in Los Angeles.
Top Customer Reviews
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 middle-school 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 nerdettes, the three women profiled are BABES.Read more ›
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Got is for a niece, who is struggling with middle school math. She seems to be doing better, now.Published 28 days ago by T. A. Strickland Jr.
Great book for girls who want to learn math without giving up their girl-ness. Thumbs up!Published 1 month ago by Teacher
Used with my special math phone sixth graders. It helped them get over their fears and they made progress and even understood some concepts better than the peers in regular math. Read morePublished 2 months ago by flyingest
Fantastic! Bought all her books. Multiple family members used. She took away my fear of math.Published 2 months ago by Fish sticks
I like the book and I don't see what is wrong with speaking with teenage girls in their terms. Just so you know, I am a Grandmother. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love this book. Danica puts you in real life situations and uses math to help you understand how to apply and solve math problems within these real life situations. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kim Skidmore