The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math

illus. by Allan Sanders. 240p. charts. diags. Workman. 2012. Tr $12.95. ISBN 978-0-7611-6374-9.
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

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing