Monday, May 19, 2014

Review - Annika Riz, Math Whiz by Claudia Mills


It's been a little while since I shared a new Middle Grade novel, so today's your lucky day!












Annika Riz, Math Whiz

by 
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published May 1st 2014)
ISBN 0374303355 (ISBN13: 9780374303358)
Source: ARC from publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Goodreads Blurb:
Annika Riz loves math more than anything. She's trying to teach her dog, Prime, to count. She's determined to beat fellow math whiz Simon Ellis in a Sudoku contest at the public library. She even sleeps under number-patterned sheets. But Annika's best friends Kelsey and Izzy think math is boring. All they care about is the upcoming school carnival: their principal is going to be dunked in a dunking tank and their class is going to have a booth selling home-baked cookies. But then disaster foils the friends' cookie-baking plans. Can math save the day?

My Thoughts:
I am #nerdybookclub through and through, but I also delight in math. There's something amazing about the way numbers come together. Patterns make life feel more manageable. Fractions and Decimals and Percents and Division.... it all makes me smile. I adore teaching math to my advanced learners every day. So when I saw a book about a girl who loves math, I just had to check it out for myself.

Annika is proud of her math skills. She's excited about numbers. She's up for the challenge of a competition with the boy in her class. I wanted to cheer for her! Finding a book about a girl who is happy to stand up and say, "I love math, and I'm good at it!" is fabulous. When you add in the fact that her friends, who don't like math, take the time to cheer for Annika and help her prepare for the Sudoku contest, then you have a winner. 

The story is fun, with lots of little problems for Annika and her friends along the way. Kids can see the importance math has in baking, fund raising, and just daily enjoyment. It's an easy read, and the friendships are sweet. 

Math Extensions for Eager Learners
Do you have students in your class like Annika or Simon? Students who zip through the classroom math and are eager for more? One of my favorite bloggers - Byrdseed Gifted - has a great post about extension menus. I also like to use the Challenge Math series by Zaccaro from Prufrock Press. Keep those math minds fed! 

Math Connections:
Sudoku - Students love the analytical thinking involved in these puzzles. 
Fractions and Decimals - especially tied into baking and fundraising! 
Prime Numbers - Try out this online, interactive version of Eratosthenes' sieve
Zero -- check out this article about the origin of zero in Scientific American. 


And in the interest of proving that "girly girls" can love math, too.... here's my lovely set of #Bookishnails to celebrate Annika Riz!

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