Part of the “Score with Sports Math” series, this book, aimed at early elementary students, is a mixed bag. This title, which provides the history of the game of basketball as well as famous players and teams and the major competitions for college and the Olympics, has a plethora of interesting facts. They are supported with plenty of full-color action, photographs that should appeal to anyone interested in the sport. The math problems are really not all that complex. What is not clear is whether this book is part of a larger framework teaching addition, subtraction, fractions, and more complex problems that involve learning how to derive percentages, etc., or a book that is to be used to reinforce classroom lessons. It is not a book for teaching , but could be useful only after some basic math has been learned. Problems are presented as questions, followed by an explanation to derive the answer. For anyone interested in trivia about the sport, there is plenty here, such as the length and width of an NBA court, the diameter of the hoop, and the fact that the basketball women use is smaller (.4 of an inch) than the one used by men. (Unfortunately, there was no explanation given.) The text closes with some tips for solving problems, a list of three math books, a couple of web site references, and an index. While much is included about the game, the math lesson is not useful except for showing kids how much math is involved in sports. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot; Ages 8 to 11.
Gr 3–5—Athletics-themed series are typically popular, but this one may struggle to find a following since question-and-answer exercises are its focus. The writing, although clear and full of accurate facts about the subjects, is not engaging. The visuals consist of mostly action shots of the sports; they're attractive, but some are small. Each book begins with an introduction followed by chapters that mix facts and statistics about the subject with math questions and answers. The last chapter describes a game, meet, or race, and tries to build excitement with close outcomes. For example, in Basketball, there's just three seconds left in a game and the score is 69-68; players James and Dylan both jump for the ball. "The final buzzer sounds, and the crowd roars!" Readers do not need to work the problems out since the answers immediately follows the questions, but the explanations are solid and could be helpful to struggling mathematicians who are interested in the featured sports.