It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday again, my fifth week of this great idea started by Shannon Whitney Messenger. This week, I'm doing something a little different. While there are many, many wonderful fiction books for middle graders, there are also some very important and worthwhile, even marvelous, non-fiction books.
Danica McKellar is an actress (I will forever think of her as Winnie on The Wonder Years), but she is also a very smart lady. She has written a series of fabulous books about math. Now, I can hear a few of you cringing out there.
What's marvelous about math?
The answer is, there's a lot that is marvelous about math, but a lot of girls don't think so. (Some boys, too, but this post is for the girls.) In fact, a lot of girls are not only scared of math, they think that liking math is bad. Not cool. Not attractive to boys.
In Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail, Danica McKellar shows that you can be smart AND attractive. She doesn't just preach it, though. She actually makes math fun and appealing, and does it in a way that will speak to middle grade girls. She carefully and cleverly goes through each topic that middle grade girls need to learn, using examples and techniques spiced with girl concepts like pizza and shopping and crushes. Interspersed throughout are quotes and encouragement from real middle grade and older girls, and a few boys, about being smart and fabulous.
You see, there was a time when Danica McKellar was a young girl frightened of math. She once sat so paralyzed by a test that she wrote nothing down for the whole period. But somehow (and she explains how), she found her way to becoming a math major in college. And pretty and fabulous too.
Trust me on this. This book could make a huge difference in a young girl's life. Don't hesitate or think about or cringe at the idea of math. Math can be marvelous, but it's a lot more likely to feel that way to a special girl in your life if you buy her the book.
Buy 'Math Doesn't Suck' or the books for older girls on Amazon.com
Or on Amazon.co.uk
Or on Amazon.ca
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was started by Shannon Whitney Messenger, but others have taken up the task in recent weeks, including: