August 14, 2008

Mystery to the Power of Four

Wendy Lichtman, author of Secrets, Lies, and Algebra, brings us a new mathematical mystery in the Do the Math series, The Writing on the Wall. Eighth-grader Tess arrives at school one morning with her two best friends and finds some strange graffiti on a wall of the neighboring building…strange mathematical graffiti. It's almost like someone knows she loves math, and is trying to tell her something.

Meanwhile, school itself presents its own dramas—Richard, who's holding a grudge after she got him in trouble, keeps making scary, threatening comments. The new girl, Lucia, is friendly, but mysterious, despite being on the math team with Tess. And then there's cute Damien, who conveniently keeps showing up after class just in time to do things like walk Tess to the bus stop.

Is it worth breaking the rules to risk finding out what the numerical graffiti means? Is the person who wrote it a friend…or an enemy? This is a fun, funny, fast-paced middle-grade mystery that encourages reader participation. If you're a fan of Chasing Vermeer and its sequel by Blue Balliett, you'll enjoy this one—resourceful, smart, but also very normal kids manage to figure things out on their own with just a few hints (and more than a little interference) from the adults in their lives. And, of course, the most significant lesson they figure out is that life can't always be fit into a formula...and that it's usually more interesting that way.

Buy this book from an independent bookstore near you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jealous, jealous, JEALOUS!!!! I loved her first book, MUST READ THIS ONE!

Hey. We should maybe interview her. Go Math Girlz!