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Home > Book News

Math Helps Teen Decode Middle School Mystery in New HarperCollins Novel for Kids

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Mystery, intrigue, romance, and mathematics add up to an irresistible read for kids ages 10 and up in Wendy Lichtman's second 'Do the Math' book, 'The Writing on the Wall' (Greenwillow). It's the same winning formula that led The Horn Book Guide to sum up Lichtman's 'Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra' (new in paperback) with the words, "Likable protagonist + breezy writing + math that isn't dumbed down = page-turning novel."

Like all eighth graders, Tess is trying hard to figure out life's equations, and middle school presents plenty of problems that need solutions, like bullies and mean teachers. Luckily, Tess has best friends to help her cope. But is there a formula that predicts if the boy you like has a crush on you? Does it help to look at things from a new angle when you mess up bigtime?

For Tess, math is all about patterns, and so is human behavior. When she spies graffiti written in mathematical figures, she knows she must crack the code. Even reluctant readers and kids who dislike math will be caught up in the story as Tess traces connections between the mysterious graffiti and an unexplained fire in the computer room. As events intersect in unexpected ways, Tess graphs her friends' positive and negative points, estimates the probability of who started the fire, and begins to put two and two together in Lichtman's deft and entertaining new novel.

In Lichtman's previous book, 'Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra', Tess must cope with cute boys who cheat, best friends who break promises, and a mother who may be keeping a scary secret about someone's death. Tess's problems multiply as she searches for solutions in a book kids won't want to put down.

Wendy Lichtman's personal essays have appeared in 'The New York Times', 'The Washington Post', 'Los Angeles Times', 'The Chicago Tribune', 'Good Housekeeping', and other national publications. She is the author of six novels for young readers. She teaches writers' workshops and speaks nationally about math and literacy. Lichtman holds a B.A. in mathematics and lives in Berkeley, California. Visit her online at





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