The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math: 24 Death-Defying Challenges for Young Mathematicians

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Overview


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 ...
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Overview


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 they’re 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 ship’s navigator and make it safely to the New World. Escape an evil Duke’s executioner by picking the right door—probability will save your neck.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Using a Mission Impossible–style formula, Connolly, the author of The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science and The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science, presents 24 beyond-the-classroom scenarios that require the use of fractions, ratios, geometry, and more. Challenges include surviving the first day as an editorial assistant at Catwalk magazine by buying enough pizza for hungry fashion bigwigs, administering the correct amount of antivenin serum to an unconscious scientist who has been bitten by a spider, and determining whether a pyramid scheme will be financially beneficial. Each problem includes “Survival strategies” or math operations needed to solve the dilemma, a blank worksheet, a step-by-step solution, and a “math lab” featuring hands-on experiments and activities that elaborate on the concepts introduced. A quirky diversion for the math-minded. Ages 9–up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Steven Conrad
When I was young, I went to school in Manhattan, where I was able to browse the bookstores for math books—not textbooks, but books about having fun with mathematics. Most kids who like numbers do not get to do that. Young chefs like to cook. Young writers like to write. Young people who enjoy numbers love to have fun with numbers. Those young people will love this book! Children primary school ages are the perfect target audience for books like this. Young kids can grow into it and use it for years. Enthusiasm runs strong in youth; there have been few resources available to cater to the needs of mathematically inclined young students. This book fills that gap perfectly. Would you like to have a visiting speaker come to your class each week (or every 2 weeks, or every month, or...) with a fun activity that involves using math to solve a cute problem of genuine interest to kids? That's what this book provides—about a year's worth of math fun stuff. In Chapter 6, for example, you are a doctor in the jungle with a colleague who has just been bitten, and you must dilute the serum properly and quickly. The situation is critical, and your math skills can save the day! There are 24 chapters of that sort. In this adult world, it is indeed rare to find a work that's aimed at children that succeeds in its mission over and over again. That was Connolly's mission, and he succeeded: each of the 24 chapters has the hallmark of excellence. Each chapter has "Math Lab" activities to keep a child interested beyond the chapter's example. At the end of chapter 7, the activity is to get a car's owner's manual and involves calculating gas mileage. What would you need to know to calculate mileage for the vehicle? This is a book about doing, not about being told what to do. It's a treasure! Reviewer: Steven Conrad
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—This follow-up to The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science (Workman, 2010) offers 24 engaging and thought-provoking math problems. A brief introduction explains the arrangement of the text and includes some tips and hints for tackling them. Each one is framed as a tough or dire situation that readers must solve using their math skills and knowledge. There are three levels of difficulty: "You Might Make It" (grade 5), "Slim to None" (grade 6), and "You're Dead" (grade 7). The grade-level assignments are based on Common Core Standards in mathematics, which the problems are aligned with. Each entry begins by stating its "challenge." A boxed area called "Euclid's Advice" offers some tips and suggestions for solving the challenge, followed by a blank page for students to work out their solutions. Next, the solution is provided. Explanations are clear and easy to understand. In "Sage in the Tower," readers must figure out how to use shadows and proportions to determine how tall a tower is in order to rescue the king's scholar. Lastly, each challenge concludes with a "Math Lab" that offers an example of how the principles being addressed can be put into action. The layout is clean and attractive with wacky three-color cartoons throughout. A useful addition to libraries wanting to supplement their mathematics collections, in addition to being an entertaining supplement to the curriculum.—Maren Ostergard, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA
Kirkus Reviews
In a labored follow-up to his Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science (2010), Connolly offers 24 hazardous scenarios that require math and logic skills to escape. Introductions to each chapter specify which "Survival Strategies"--ranging from "Operations and Algebraic Thinking" to "Geometry" and "Expressions and Equations"--will be exercised. The author then plants readers beneath a bladed pendulum, imprisons them in an ancient tomb with coded directions to a hidden exit, charges them with stringing a fiber-optic cable around the Earth before a giant asteroid hits, challenges them to get three people across a rope bridge in the dark with but one flashlight and so on. Though he provides blank work pages for do-it-yourselfers, he also lays out every significant component of each problem and places step-by-step solution immediately adjacent. These are accompanied by "Math Lab" projects that require similar skills in more real-world settings and occasional number tricks. Dramatic and varied as the situations are, they're never more than thinly disguised exercises, because nearly every one depends on a rat chewing through a rope in exactly one minute, the bus getting precisely 17 miles to the gallon, an astronaut's heartbeat never varying from 72 beats per minute or other arbitrarily fixed values. An inviting alternative to utilitarian workbooks, but full of transparent contrivances. (Nonfiction. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761163749
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/14/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 108,227
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 1010L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Sean Connolly has written more than 50 books for children and adults. A father of three, he's ideally suited to explain the nuts and bolts of these fantastic experiments.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2012

    I use this with my 5th grade class.  They love it.

    I use this with my 5th grade class.  They love it.

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