Higher Geometry

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Anna loves math, and her boyfriend, Mike. Will she have to choose between them?

Anna Conway sometimes wishes her relationships would come as easy to her as math does. A natural math talent, Anna is at odds with what?s expected of her as a teenager in the 1950s. While Anna aspires to leave her small town for college to study mathematics, her parents want her to follow the more traditional path of getting married and starting a family. Anna?s never really thought of dating before,...

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Overview

Anna loves math, and her boyfriend, Mike. Will she have to choose between them?

Anna Conway sometimes wishes her relationships would come as easy to her as math does. A natural math talent, Anna is at odds with what’s expected of her as a teenager in the 1950s. While Anna aspires to leave her small town for college to study mathematics, her parents want her to follow the more traditional path of getting married and starting a family. Anna’s never really thought of dating before, but when she meets Mike, their relationship takes off and goes further than she’d ever expected. Now it’s up to Anna to make her future happen. But how will she choose?
 
In beautiful prose, Sharelle Byars Moranville explores the importance of believing in dreams in order to make a difference.
 

A Higher Geometry is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Anna Conway is submerged in a world of calculus and trigonometry in the 1950s, at a time when home economics was the acceptable class for young women in rural high schools. Though this novel begins by dousing the reader with daunting math terminology that may turn uninterested readers away, it quickly evolves into a story of young love blossoming into forbidden love, and the struggle between what is acceptable versus the real life choices that Anna knows in her heart she must make. This is an endearing story dealing with Anna's relationship with her stern father and the modernly different bond she explores with Mike, her loyal boyfriend. Sharelle Byars Moranville's story of a young women seeking higher education in the postwar era explores the possibility of dreams and most importantly, determination to do what one loves rather than what is "expected." Young female readers will thoroughly enjoy this timeless story of self-awareness. 2006, Henry Holt, Ages 13 up.
—Jeanna Sciarrotta
VOYA
This pleasing novel is set in the post-Sputnik late 1950s. Although her parents embrace the values of small-town America, which would put her on the path to marriage and family after high school, Anna dreams of more for herself. She has a fierce interest and capability in math, and she wants more than anything to go to college. Into her life bounds Mike, who sweeps her off her feet. Their growing relationship causes Anna to think about the future in a different way, but when she is chosen to enter a state math contest and wins it, even her stern father is forced to reassess his traditional plans for her. A second trip, this time to Chicago for a test with the Academy of Mathematics and Sciences, proves beyond a doubt that Anna is truly gifted. Although Anna and Mike do become sexually active during the story, there are no explicit situations. Although not great literature, the novel is very readable, and most juvenile girls will enjoy it. The author does a credible job of immersing the reader into the culture of 1959, and her characters, although not completely full-blown, are believable. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2006, Henry Holt, 212p., Ages 11 to 15.
—Leslie Carter
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Fifteen-year-old Anna is a math wiz. Unfortunately, mathematics was not a common pursuit of girls or women in the 1950s and the teen sees what pursuing a career in math has cost her teacher, Mrs. Ballard. While the story line begins by focusing on Anna and her desire to win over her skeptical parents, attend a math competition at a nearby university, and attend college, it takes a somewhat abrupt turn when she begins dating basketball star Mike Dillon. Her concerns about the relationship are foreshadowed in conversations she has with others about classmates who left school when they became pregnant, and in her discussions about her faith. By the end of the novel the focus flips back to the math competition. Readers are likely to enjoy the romance and period details, but some may lose interest when the strands of the story do not meld.-Kimberly Monaghan, formerly at Vernon Area Public Library, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
It's 1959, the year Anna Conway turns 16. She misses with fierce longing her grandmother Meema, a painter who helped raise her. Anna's parents are loving but uncomprehending of Anna's intensity at school, where she finds mathematics not only pleasurable but beautiful. She also takes pleasure in Mike, who cares for her, takes her to the movies and gives her his ID bracelet. Readers will wait tensely with Anna while she maneuvers to get her parents to let her enter a statewide math contest, and then go to Chicago to participate in a national one. Contemporary teens will likely be fascinated not only by how strict Anna's parents are in terms of monitoring her activities and actions, but with how much she, as a girl with deep mathematical talent, has to struggle just to use it and to keep learning. Anna's strength, coming from her Meema's belief in her, is vivid and natural in this first-person narrative. The mathematics is elegantly and clearly described, and her relationship with Mike is lovely. He supports and admires her, they have sex (mostly offstage) and it neither ruins her life nor directs it. A terrific teen read. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805074703
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 5/2/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharelle Byars Moranville is the author of the acclaimed novels Over the River and The Purple Ribbon. She lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband.

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