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Math Curse by Jon Scieszka

Math Curse (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4241245,301 (4.2)20
Age: Primary

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Summary: A boy is told that anything can be a math problem, then he starts to see everything as math problems, which the reader can then figure out.
  royabdunnur | Apr 18, 2012 |
English (123)  Spanish (1)  All languages (124)
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This is a book where the main character keeps having problems with math. Everything in her life is a math problem. From getting ready in the morning, to having cupcakes in class. She even has math problems in her dreams. Throughout all of these problems, she is trying to find solutions, but just can't seem to figure it out. One night in her dream, she finally breaks free from the math curse, and never has a math problem like that again. I would use this for children in 3rd grade and higher. I would use this book as a fun way to look at math and all sorts of different math problems, I would also have my students create their own math problems from the things around them. Genre: fantasy because there is no such thing as a math curse ( )
  amassingale | Mar 17, 2015 |
I think this is a very honest portrayal of the ways in which math can affect students. I know for me growing up, math gave me a lot of anxiety (still does) and this books, I think, makes it ok to be anxious about math. And that to me is a beautiful thing. ( )
  Andymcclellan_93 | Dec 3, 2014 |
Math Curse is a fun book that has a great story line but also shows various math problems throughout the book. When my children's literature professor read this book to my class, all of the students tried to solve the problems on each page. This would be a great book to show to children who struggle in math. They will find out that they too can concur the curse of math! ( )
  kwolinski | Dec 1, 2014 |
Mrs.Fibonacci told the whole class that there is math in everything. The next day that is all he could think about and it was driving him crazy! He thinks Mrs. Fibonacci put a curse on him because he sees math everywhere. While putting on his clothes, trying to buy a chocolate, and even in dinner. He thinks the curse will never end. This is a really cute book to get children interested in math and to even share in a math class. I think it is a funny book the kids will enjoy. ( )
  lruano | Nov 29, 2014 |
Math can create such anxiety. When the main characters teacher tells he or she that "you can think of almost everything as a math problem," the anxiety begins. Everywhere and in everything math is taking over. Schedule, clothing, breakfast, every subject in school, money, and in the world of dreams, math exits and has the character's mind boggled beyond belief. The young child finally comes to an understanding of math, and the anxiety subsides--until the teacher mentions that "you can think of almost everything as a science experiment." Oh, how the anxiety returns! ( )
  slbenne1 | Nov 29, 2014 |
There are math problems everywhere in life. I think it would be fun to have the kids try to solve some of them while reading. ( )
  Y-NhiVu | Nov 27, 2014 |
Math curse is a story about a boy who thinks he has been cursed because he can't stop thinking about math problems. The book is a little hard and for grades in lower elementary since it has a variety of math concepts that are taught in the upper grades. It is a great read and a great introduction to several math lessons. I really enjoy the way the author presented the problems as a story. There were some of them that I had a hard time figuring out, ( )
  cvarela | Nov 25, 2014 |
Amusing story about a kid who has anxiety over everything in life connecting to math. The story is full of math riddles, with twists. Great story to read and have the kids try and figure out the solutions. Good read especially for when kids are starting to get a little frustrated during difficult lessons. ( )
  rhigginbotham | Nov 24, 2014 |
Hilarious! Scieszka's writes a humorous tale about a child who can't stop thinking about math problems. Yes, math is everywhere and this books points out ways to teach and think about math that adults probably don't think about because it becomes routine. Like, figuring out how much time you need to get ready in the morning in order to be on time. Or, if there is 24 kids in the class how many ears are there? There are many more cute, funny math related thought processes to read about so, I won't spoil it for you. ( )
  mosbor | Nov 19, 2014 |
The story Math Curse is a book of solving math problems. Everyday we are constantly doing math and don't even realize it. Every single thing we do involves math down to eating, going to school, and getting on the bus. I think this story was very fun and would be great if your introducing math to an older class. This story can also show children who don't enjoy math to eventually embrace it. ( )
  TaylorRankins | Nov 18, 2014 |
A child reluctantly relates math to all aspects of her day, from money to time to food.
  lrubin75 | Nov 3, 2014 |
I really loved this book. I like that it shows how math problems can be applied to real life situations such as if I wake up now and takes me x amount of time to get dressed, will I be ready in time? The problems presented will make children understand math is an important part of life that cannot be escaped, which I believe is the big idea of the book. Along with this the illustrations to represent the problems were fantastically drawn and kept my attention on the problem at hand while reading. ( )
  StephanieWeiner | Sep 16, 2014 |
What happens if absolutely everything becomes a word problem? Our main character is about to lose his mind, until he embraces the math. Full of fun logic and math problems and a lot of silliness. Possibly good for breaking up the stress of LEAP time? ( )
  kradish | Jul 30, 2014 |
I fell in love with "The Math Curse", and can't wait to share it with my kids. I just ordered a copy for them, which will be conspicuously displayed on my coffee table. I feel like I just bought myself a ticket to listen to my kids chuckle their way through math problems. Shall I secretly video?

I will definitely have this in my class library or check it out from the school library for kids to peruse. For some kids, math feels like death, and this light-hearted take on the "curse" does what Keeper of Soles does for mortality.

I wonder what the best way to incorporate this book is? Group read? Just have it on hand? A page a day? I'm fishing for ideas.

In the continuing spirit of using librarything to record links to potential resources, I wonder if I should explore this book, which one a teacher's choice in 2009. I need to get my hands on as many arts-integrated resources as possible.

http://www.amazon.com/Math-Poetry-Linking-Language-Fresh/dp/1596470720 ( )
  Desirichter | Jul 29, 2014 |
This book explained how math is everywhere we look. Math can be found in waking up in the morning, as well as brushing your teeth. I wouldn't use it with my second graders because some of the math problems were on a higher level, but i would definitely add it to my library. ( )
  Kbernard | Jul 18, 2014 |
This book is a friendly, funny way to introduce kids of all ages to higher mathematical concepts in a logical sequence. ( )
  EllenMazieKeyes | May 31, 2014 |
Sciezka has created a zany picture book that encourages readers to see the entertainment and everyday application of math. In the story, the young protagonist hears his math teacher (Mrs. Fibonacci) say that you can think of almost everything as a math problem. The next day the boy starts having a problem. Everything he does becomes framed as math. Eating pizza involves fractions, getting to the bus on time relates to times and rates, and passing out cupcakes to the class uses addition, subtraction, division, and fractions! He realizes that he has a math curse! Every subject and every activity becomes an equation or a word problem. Finally, the boy is driven nearly to distraction with his math obsession for an entire day, and he dreams he is trapped in a room covered in equations. He solves a problem, puts two halves together to make a whole, puts the hole on a wall, and jumps to freedom. His math anxiety is over. Too bad the next day he hears his science teacher say you can think of almost everything as a science experiment.

What a wonderful way to demonstrate how math is ingrained in our world. So many children see math as a boring skill with no relevance, because they just know the formulas and drills, and don't understand the underlying concepts. This book visually illuminates what math means, with an abundance of fun. On each page, the reader gets the story, and often an assortment of math questions that range from simple to quite complex and are related to the activities the boy is engaged in. It's not necessary to answer the questions to appreciate and enjoy the story. However, a great afternoon activity could be reading the story with your children, and then working out some of those problems together. Also, most of the math questions have silly elements to break up any idea of drill-and-kill school work. For instance, one box asks three questions: If my bus leaves at 8:00, will I make it on time? How many minutes in 1 hour? How many teeth in 1 mouth? The whole book lovingly pokes fun at math, while celebrating how important math is in the world around us.

The illustrations are an inseparable component of the book. They are part collage, part drawings, and incorporate math everywhere. Numbers are part of almost every page. Circles are broken into pie pieces, and information is shared in bar graphs. Formulas and math facts float around. The collage placement adds to a surreal atmosphere, and reinforces the feeling of a curse. Also, the expressions on the bewildered boy's face are hilarious, and adorable when he wakes up feeling confident in his math prowess. Every aspect of the book is aligned with the theme. Even the book flaps have math problems and hidden jokes. The author and illustrator are represented in a Venn diagram at the back of the book. Numbers in the copyright information are given in roman numerals and the prices is given as a math equation. This is a fabulous book, with attention to every detail, and an excellent use of the picture book format. Parents and teachers need this book in their library. ( )
  nmhale | May 31, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book simply because it challenges your mind while reading. If you are using this in math class it gives your students a fun way to learn mathematical knowledge. However, if you were using it in any other class it may not make as much sense. I liked solving the problems in the book, but sometimes it was extremely distracting. I forgot I was even reading a book, but that could be the point! Overall, it is a great book that I would use in my classroom. ( )
  CMJohnson | Apr 29, 2014 |
This book was very interesting. It is acceptable for a wide range of ages. It has some pretty complicated concepts in it. It was entertaining, and funny. ( )
  SamanthaMulkey | Apr 24, 2014 |
A little boy is told by his teacher in math class that "everything in life can be looked at like a math problem". And this just causes all sorts of trouble for him. A hilarious story of how he finds number and math problems in everything he faces in life. There are great chances to get students involved in the math solving while keeping them entertained with the humor of the story. I really enjoyed it and love the way the author was able to incorporate the two subjects together. ( )
  kryoung1 | Apr 23, 2014 |
I loved this book. The little girl cannot get math out of her head! It begins driving her crazy. I think this book is great for students because it does relate math to everything. The illustrations are really fun. I loved the play on things. A lot of thought was put into this creative book. I love the problems that the children would be able to solve. Such a beneficial book! I would recommend for grades 2nd and above. ( )
  Imandayeh | Apr 23, 2014 |
My teacher read us the Math Curse at school and I had to read it again. I loved this book, it is the best math children's book I have read. It kept me interested and had a lot of different math problems. The illustrations were great and the book was really funny. I would definitely use this book in my future classroom and it could be great for 3rd and up. ( )
  aloupe | Apr 22, 2014 |
Math Curse is about how math really is everywhere in our lives. The book takes everyday things like milk for your cereal and shows how many math problems you can get from one item: Quarts in a gallon etc. Everywhere the main character looks, a math problem is there. Some of the math is rather high level for the age of the child that would be reading the book. The quadratic formula is on one page. But it really doesn't go into the math itself; just all the places it can be found. ( )
  aleader | Mar 14, 2014 |
This book is about a little girl who has a "math curse." Everything that occurs in her life she perceives as a math word problem. This is not your typical math book! It is funny and educational. It helps children relate math to their every day lives!
  Courtney1114 | Dec 3, 2013 |
Jon Scieszka did it again. This easily became one of my favorite book. Scieszka started the book with a girl waking up in the morning and start thinking about all the math problems in her life. Children are able to do some of the math in the book and enjoy all the nonsense Scieszka wrote. The never ending narrative helps students to see how an idea can spark another as well. Also, this is a good book to teach students about full-circle ending writing.
  joshuachanyh | Nov 29, 2013 |
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