I think all of us parents want our children to like math, to understand
its significance, and to see how mathematical principles apply
to many areas of life. The three authors of this book feel the
same way and have written 101 Things Everyone Should Know About
Math to show kids that math is fun and useful. Targeting
ages 10-14, this 208-page paperback book, after letters of introduction
from the three authors, contains about 50 pages of puzzles in the
areas of math, health, travel, recreation, economics, and nature/music/art.
There are also some miscellaneous and bonus questions.
This is one book where the answer segment takes up more pages
than the question part because the answers are explained in detail.
The annotated answer section is the most interesting part of the
book. In fact, it makes for great reading, even if you don't have
an interest in actually solving the problems. A one page "How To
Use This Book" suggests the reader may want to use pencil and paper,
even though many problems will not require that. The first chapter, "Facts,
Just Math Facts" is recommended as a starting place, since it provides
a review of math skills.
The questions are conveniently printed in their entirety, in bold
text, in the answer section, and there are plenty of clear illustrations,
charts, and photos to help out visual learners. Some of the questions
are not truly mathematical in nature but fall into the category
of trivia. Examples of this are: "What are the fewest number of
colors you need to color a map?" and "Which (of the listed) mathematicians
also were musicians?" Some of the questions have clues to help
Although page numbers are referenced for each section's corresponding
answer section, I think it would have been handy to have color-coded
pages to help you quickly flip to the right section. It is a little
annoying that the page numbers given are wrong, as are the table
of contents page numbers.
This easy-to-read book would be excellent for anyone. Those who
like math will love it; those who don't may find out they do!