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[The authors] found that 60 percent of the kindergartners in neighborhoods where children did poorly in school did not... More
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2008
Material: hard cover
Summary: Tess is an eighth grader who loves solving problems by using mathematics formulas. Graffiti with coded messages is appearing on walls around school, and Tess believes the graffiti artist may want to harm her. The school principal caught Tess responding to a graffiti message and suspended her from school. Then her parents grounded her. How can she identify the graffiti tagger and prove her innocence? This chapter book for preteens features a math-loving girl as its protagonist.
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 10 to 12; read yourself: 11 and up
Young Reader Reaction: This is a book targeted towards girls in their early years of middle school. I mostly liked the book, but the math references could be a little too advanced for this group. The author provides a brief, but adequate explanation of each concept as it is introduced, and I personally thought the explanations were a great component to fully understanding Tess's thoughts. All of the characters in this book have such real personalities that they are easily visualized and you can relate tot hem. he plot also has quite a few varyiants. There is some mystery and romance; and the math principles are taught well and reinforced. On the whole, I enjoyed reading The Writing on the Wall very much. This book is definitely one I would buy for a friend who loves reading and math.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a believable story and it quickly engages the reader. This is fun to read. The device of integrating math formulas and puzzles as integral parts of the plot is unique. Working the puzzles was fun.
Pros: The book will raise the reader's curiousity because it integrates math formulas and puzzles into the plot. They keep him/her actively engaged from beginning to end.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a fun read for the tweener set. The characters are believable, the plot is engaging, and the reader will find the story hard to put down.
Educational Themes: The author makes it easy for the reader to be at ease by simultaneously experiencing adolescence along with Tess and her friends. The puzzles offer great practice in logic and math. Teachers or parents will find lots of opportunity for sharing thoughts and dealing with questions about growing up.