The 14 Fibs of Gregory K.

( 2 )

Overview


Failing math but great at writing, Gregory finds the poetry (and humor) in what's hard.

Gregory K is the middle child in a family of mathematical geniuses. But if he claimed to love math? Well, he'd be fibbing. What he really wants most is to go to Author Camp. But to get his parents' permission he's going to have to pass his math class, which has a probability of 0. THAT much he can understand! To make matters worse, he's been playing fast and loose with the truth: "I LOVE ...

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The 14 Fibs of Gregory K.

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Overview


Failing math but great at writing, Gregory finds the poetry (and humor) in what's hard.

Gregory K is the middle child in a family of mathematical geniuses. But if he claimed to love math? Well, he'd be fibbing. What he really wants most is to go to Author Camp. But to get his parents' permission he's going to have to pass his math class, which has a probability of 0. THAT much he can understand! To make matters worse, he's been playing fast and loose with the truth: "I LOVE math" he tells his parents. "I've entered a citywide math contest!" he tells his teacher. "We're going to author camp!" he tells his best friend, Kelly. And now, somehow, he's going to have to make good on his promises.

Hilariously it's the "Fibonacci Sequence" -- a famous mathematical formula! -- that comes to the rescue, inspiring Gregory to create a whole new form of poem: the Fib! Maybe Fibs will save the day, and help Gregory find his way back to the truth.

For every kid who equates math with torture but wants his own way to shine, here's a novel that is way more than the sum of its parts.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/14/2013
Everyone in Gregory's family adores math—everyone, that is, except Gregory. While his parents and siblings live for the yearly City Math contest, Gregory prefers writing, especially poetry. Gregory has promised his best friend Kelly that he will attend Author Camp with her, despite not having asked his parents. When his math teacher announces that Gregory may fail math, it might as well be the fall of Rome as far as Gregory's parents are concerned—and it results in Gregory constructing an outrageous lie that threatens to backfire. Gregory is a buoyant narrator whose extreme math phobia and obsessive love of pie (and definitely not pi) give his character an idiosyncratic shine. Hyperbolic details, like his mother's "Weird Wednesday" family dinners, are interspersed with passages from Gregory's extra credit math journal, where his ruminations on the Fibonacci sequence and "Fib poetry" give readers access to deeper reflections on mathematics, metaphor, and the places where they might overlap. Pincus's story explores struggles with friends, family, and learning while remaining exuberant and relatable, a winning equation. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

Kirkus Reviews
The addition of math-contest pressure and the impending subtraction of a best friend equal a stressful sixth-grade year for Gregory Korenstein-Jasperton.

Gregory’s lifelong pretense that he loves math as much as the rest of his family—really, he prefers writing—catches up with him when long division eludes him. Worse, Kelly, his best friend and writing buddy, is moving at the end of the year. Of course, they can see each other at Author’s Camp in the summer, if Gregory does well in school. Extra credit for entering the City Math contest might improve his math grade. It would certainly please his father, the first contest winner. This family and friendship story is the author’s first novel. Each chapter begins with a poem in a form that will be familiar to readers of his poetry. These “fibs” have six lines with their syllable count based on the Fibonacci sequence: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13. They chronicle Gregory’s state of mind and contribute to the final, satisfactory solution. Dialogue and humor carry the third-person narrative along swiftly, and the characters are appealing. It is unusual to meet a family in middle-grade fiction that enjoys playing math games at the table, and it’s refreshing to
be reminded of the importance of honesty with family and friends.

By any reckoning, a successful debut.

Booklist Reviews
Math-hater Gregory tries very hard to fit in with his math-loving family, even though what he really enjoys is writing and sharing poetry with his best friend, Kelly. His failing math scores mean that he has to spend summer at math camp, ruining his plans to spend the summer at author camp with Kelly. Still trying to find a way out, Gregory begins telling fibs to make those around him think that math camp is, indeed, the plan, and the ensuing mayhem caused by multiple fibs creates enough action and intrigue to keep readers fully engaged. The solution to Gregory’s dilemma involves poetry designed using the Fibonacci sequence, and each chapter heading is a Fibonacci-sequence poem that forecasts Gregory’s fibs. This delightful novel introduces a resourceful and inspiring young character, and many readers will relate to Gregory’s desire for creative expression and his yearning for acceptance.

Publishers Weekly Reviews
Everyone in Gregory's family adores math—everyone, that is, except Gregory. While his parents and siblings live for the yearly City Math contest, Gregory prefers writing, especially poetry. Gregory has promised his best friend Kelly that he will attend Author Camp with her, despite not having asked his parents. When his math teacher announces that Gregory may fail math, it might as well be the fall of Rome as far as Gregory's parents are concerned—and it results in Gregory constructing an outrageous lie that threatens to backfire. Gregory is a buoyant narrator whose extreme math phobia and obsessive love of pie (and definitely not pi) give his character an idiosyncratic shine. Hyperbolic details, like his mother's "Weird Wednesday" family dinners, are interspersed with passages from Gregory's extra credit math journal, where his ruminations on the Fibonacci sequence and "Fib poetry" give readers access to deeper reflections on mathematics, metaphor, and the places where they might overlap. Pincus's story explores struggles with friends, family, and learning while remaining exuberant and relatable, a winning equation.

School Library Journal
02/01/2014
Gr 4–6—Eleven-year-old Gregory K.'s parents, older brother, and younger sister love math and talking about it, but Gregory hates it. All he wants to do is write, spend time with his friend Kelly, and eat pie. When it turns out that Kelly is moving over the summer and that she wants him to join her at Author's Camp, Gregory lurches from one misstep to another as he tries but fails to ask for permission to go to the camp. And in a desperate effort to keep from having to go to math camp instead, he volunteers for the City Math contest, which his brother has won multiple times. Along the way Gregory lies to his parents and his math teacher about loving math, and lies to Kelly about having gotten permission to go to camp, until he figures out a solution that involves poetry, Fibonacci, and telling the truth. Gregory is a reasonably sympathetic, realistic kid who keeps convincing himself that he has things under control even as they slide toward disaster. This lighthearted look at the relationship between poetry and math is fun in places, but the sometimes forced math humor and the somewhat stilted dialogue and narrative style will limit the book's audience.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
The addition of math-contest pressure and the impending subtraction of a best friend equal a stressful sixth-grade year for Gregory Korenstein-Jasperton. Gregory's lifelong pretense that he loves math as much as the rest of his family—really, he prefers writing—catches up with him when long division eludes him. Worse, Kelly, his best friend and writing buddy, is moving at the end of the year. Of course, they can see each other at Author's Camp in the summer, if Gregory does well in school. Extra credit for entering the City Math contest might improve his math grade. It would certainly please his father, the first contest winner. This family and friendship story is the author's first novel. Each chapter begins with a poem in a form that will be familiar to readers of his poetry. These "fibs" have six lines with their syllable count based on the Fibonacci sequence: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13. They chronicle Gregory's state of mind and contribute to the final, satisfactory solution. Dialogue and humor carry the third-person narrative along swiftly, and the characters are appealing. It is unusual to meet a family in middle-grade fiction that enjoys playing math games at the table, and it's refreshing to be reminded of the importance of honesty with family and friends. By any reckoning, a successful debut. (Fiction. 8-12)
Children's Literature - Cathi I. White
Sixth grader Gregory Korenstein-Jasperton (aka as Gregory K) lives in a household where math rules. His dad, brother, and sister are math experts. They live and breathe for math. The only problem is that Gregory K. HATES math. He is no good at it and cannot do simple problems. However, his family thinks he should be good at math because his siblings are. His best friend, Kelly, is the only one who knows how he really feels about math. She knows that he has a love for English and writing, but is afraid to tell his parents. In addition, Gregory does not always tell the whole truth. So instead of telling his parents how he feels about math, he enters the City Math competition, a competition his brother has won a couple of times. However, the challenge is that he has to do a math project worthy of competition, even though he does not understand math concepts. As a result, Gregory's math teacher, Mr. Davis, steps up to assist Gregory in understanding math in a different way- through writing. Through some unexpected turns, Gregory catches on to a math concept called Fibonacci sequence that makes math click for him. Readers will be intrigued to read each chapter to find out what happens to Gregory and if he ever lets his parents know about his true love. Teachers could use this book in the classroom to let students enjoy the antics of Gregory K and the lessons he learns. Reviewer: Cathi I. White
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439912990
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 246,756
  • Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Greg Pincus is a children's poet and novelist, a screenwriter, a volunteer elementary school librarian, and a social media strategist. He is also an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. He lives in Los Angeles, California, and can be found online at http://gottabook.blogspot.com, or on Twitter as @GregPincus.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 27, 2013

    This is such a great book for middle-graders, as it is all about

    This is such a great book for middle-graders, as it is all about relationships. Parents and children, brothers and sisters, teachers and students, friends and friends. So many underlying streams running through the main story. I appreciated that not everything was tied up nice and tidy at the end, since life isn't nice and tidy. The ending was real, yet bittersweet. Great for kids to read about and experience.

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  • Posted November 15, 2013

    When I started it I wasn¿t sure what I would think of it. I am n

    When I started it I wasn’t sure what I would think of it. I am not a huge math fan as  well.  I loved it.  I liked the struggle that main character has with fitting in with his crazy family.  I also love the relationship between Greg and his best friend Kelly.  I would absolutely recommend this one!

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