# Mystery Math: A First Book of Algebra

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### Editorial Reviews

##### Publishers Weekly
In an entertaining and effective math primer, two children solve a haunted house's riddles using algebra. "The two sides of each equation are balanced. They're equal," Adler explains, before introducing the concept of a variable or "mystery number." Igor, the green-faced caretaker, poses word problems that can be solved using algebraic equations—for example, if Igor saw bats flying around earlier, saw 12 more fly in, and there are 27 bats now, how many were in the house before? For readers who normally run screaming at the mention of math, Adler's clear explanations and Miller's lightly spooky digital cartoons should prove reassuring. Ages 6–10. (Aug.)
##### School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Adler uses a mystery conceit to introduce algebraic equations and problem solving. Collaborating again with Miller, and using a Halloween theme, he employs the concept of a "mystery number" or variable that creates balance in an equation, showing how those numbers will be represented by letters. He begins very simply with illustrated examples of equations that many readers will be able to do in their heads. Once the concept is established, he continues with problems that require addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division in order to solve the "mystery," or equation. Each of the problems is posed in the form of a dilemma for characters Mandy and Billy, reinforcing that there are real-world applications for the skill. Adler sometimes uses the initial letter of the represented object in naming the variables ("K" stands in for "kittens," and "R" for "ravens"), but does not use this effective connection consistently. Miller's trademark wit and collagelike digital illustrations guide readers with visual references to the problem. The white font on dark pages is easy to read. The use of pumpkins and other Halloween icons may create too tight a niche for this title, and differences among elementary math programs may affect its usefulness, but overall Mystery Math presents the concepts with humor and clarity.—Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC

### Product Details

• ISBN-13: 9780823422890
• Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
• Publication date: 8/12/2011
• Pages: 32
• Sales rank: 971,274
• Age range: 6 - 10 Years
• Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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