It’s book review time! Yay!
Alright, a few weeks ago.. err maybe longer (has it been months already?) I wanted to brush up on my math skills. I headed to my local library, which happens to be half a block away, and browsed their math related books. Wow, they all seemed pretty technical. Then again, I guess math is technical.
I found “Math Doesn’t Suck” by Danica McKellar, you know.. the girl from The Wonder Years. At any rate, it seems she went to college and became a math major. Sweet. Score one for Woman Power! Wait.. maybe not..
It seems that Miss McKellar “dumbs down” math to make it more relatable for young girls. At first, I overlooked her metaphors and similes that were geared towards Junior High and High School females. There were your run of the mill boy-obsession, fashion-obsession, and BFF-obsession word problems. To be honest, my teenagehood (is that a word?) was nothing like that. I was a geek/nerd/etc. I loved doing homework, talking to people about new things.. I didn’t get into boys until my early to mid twenties. Something that made my mother worry relentlessly. My point being, although I can see the desire for McKellar to stereotype her math problems in an attempt to make math more relatable, it merely made things more annoying for me. It actually became a hindrance, as I had to overlook the stereotype (from a woman, hello?!) and try to create a different word problem that was more.. realistic.
Also, the language was dumbed down. It was all, like, totally.. Oh.My.God. It was sadly obvious that she was purposefully doing this in an attempt to, again, make her books relatable and yet it backfired for me. My language has never been like that, unless I was mocking someone else’s.
If it weren’t for these things, I may have stuck it out and continued learning through the rest of the chapters. This is because she has some really great ideas and techniques about how to do math. I did not finish the first book and I definitely will not read the other books.
Speaking of the other books, it is disappointing that they all have a sexually-based theme and are yet supposed to be geared towards young girls (Hot X: Algebra; Kiss My Math; and Girls Get Curves: Geometry). Really? I think you could have done better Danica.
I give it 2 out of 5 stars. The math techniques are fairly solid and will help your youngster out.. if he/she can get past all the language and stereotypes. Baaaaaad actress, math whiz, author.
Check it out for yourself! Danica’s Math Doesn’t Suck PAGE