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Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra!

I just read an excellent book called Secrets, Lies, and Algebra by Wendy Lichtman. It's about Tess, an 8th grade girl who loves algebra, who relates the events in her life to mathematics. (for example, she does Venn Diagrams of her friendships, uses a graph to try and solve a possible murder, and contemplates life as a line or line segment.) Tess is trying to figure out the right way to live life after her mother suspects that her coworker may have killed his wife although he says it was suicide. Her mother feels that since she only has a hunch but no real proof that going to the police would cause more harm than good. Tess feels that the right thing to do is tell the police and she spends the rest of the book trying to find the equation that will make life black and white and show her what to do. The book is very well written and fun...even for people (like me) who are math illiterate. (Lichtman has a knack for boiling mathematic concepts down to one or two sentences that make complete sense. I wish I'd had her for an algebra teacher.) I highly recommend checking this book out. :)