From a well-known actress and math geniusa groundbreaking guide to mathematics for middle school girls, their parents, and educators
As the math education crisis in this country continues to make headlines, research continues to prove that it is in middle school when math scores begin to dropespecially for girlsin large part due to the relentless social conditioning that tells girls they “can't do” math, and that math is “uncool.” Young girls today need strong female role models to embrace the idea that it's okay to be smartin fact, it's sexy to be smart!
It's Danica McKellar's mission to be this role model, and demonstrate on a large scale that math doesn't suck. In this fun and accessible guide, McKellardubbed a “math superstar” by The New York Timesgives girls and their parents the tools they need to master the math concepts that confuse middle-schoolers most, including fractions, percentages, pre-algebra, and more. The book features hip, real-world examples, step-by-step instruction, and engaging stories of Danica's own childhood struggles in math (and stardom). In addition, borrowing from the style of today's teen magazines, it even includes a Math Horoscope section, Math Personality Quizzes, and Real-Life Testimonialsultimately revealing why math is easier and cooler than readers think.
Whoever said that beauty and brains do not mix is proven completely wrong by this actress and mathematician's new book. McKellar, a UCLA math graduate, covers some of the most basic ideas of middle-grade math, including concepts relating to fractions, decimals, and ratios, making each comprehensible, interesting, and fun. Using real-world constructions, such as tangled necklaces, boyfriends, and pizza, concepts are thoroughly explained. Each topic is supported by practical and useful methods, plenty of examples, demonstrations of how to solve the problems, and problems for readers to solve along with their solutions. In addition, quotes from real girls, professional women, and insights from McKellar show that being smart is an important thing for girls and that it really enhances their beauty. Personality quizzes and horoscopes add a great pop-culture flair that allows for even more interactive connections with the topic. From using portions of the book for skill building to learning each concept in turn, math pros will find this book useful, but it will find special fans among those who struggle with mathematical concepts. Librarians and math teachers will need multiple copies of this fine work so that girls-and maybe even some boys-can discover what fun math can really be.