Kids Book Review: The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math

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The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math
Workman Publishing/Thomas Allen
age 8-12, 13-18
by Sean Connolly
240 pages

Synopsis from Thomas Allen:

Math rocks! At least it does in the gifted hands of Sean Connolly, who blends middle school math with fantasy to create an exciting adventure in problem-solving. These word problems are perilous, do-or-die scenarios of blood-sucking vampires (How many months would it take a single vampire to completely take over a town of 500,000 people?), or a rowboat of 5 shipwrecked sailors with a single barrel of freshwater (How much can they drink, and for how long, before they go mad from thirst ). Each problem requires readers to dig deep into the tools theyre learning in school to figure out how to survive.Kids will love solving these problems. Sean Connolly knows how to make tough subjects exciting and he brings that same intuitive understanding of what inspires and challenges kids curiosity to the 24 problems in The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math. These problems are as fun to read as they are challenging to solve. They test readers on fractions, algebra, geometry, probability, expressions and equations, and more.Use geometry to fill in for the ships navigator and make it safely to the New World. Escape an evil Dukes executioner by picking the right doorprobability will save your neck.

Remember your parents telling you how important math was to learn? Have you been going through these same discussions with your own kids? ‘Math won’t save my life, why do I need to learn it?” In The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math, your child’s math skills might make the difference between making it out with your life. My nine and seven year old both enjoyed this book. The scenarios are rediculously fun and are just the type of things my kids would think of: swinging pendulums ready to slice you in half, finding shelter to avoid an oncoming tornado, or being a CIA agent trying to avoid being blown-up. And the only thing between life and death is your math skills. Sure, not very realistic but a heck of a lot of fun for a math scenario.

Along with great ‘worst-case-scenario’ stories, the two-tone illustrations are fun. At the end of each math scenario there are helpful hints, plus some blank grid pages to use to workout your solution. The math program my kids are using at school is also word based, which can be difficult for kids to grasp, so that makes The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math an even better choice. Once you think you have the solution, you can compare it to that provided within the book There’s even mini math labs, giving kids at-home experiments to see the solutions in action. The math problems get progressively harder, focusing on different math techniques. I even found myself working on a few of these puzzles myself. So next time your child thinks math is a waste of time, give them a copy of The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math and see if they would bet their life on it.

You can find a copy of The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math by visiting your local book store or visiting Thomas Allen. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations. What are you reading with your kids?


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