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Math Curse by Jon Scieszka

Math Curse (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4931354,966 (4.22)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 |
Showing 1-25 of 135 (next | show all)
I love this book for many reasons! The writing is so engaging and fun to read. Every sentence in the book is some sort of pun or math problem that gets the reader interested. The way that the math is presented is very clever and fun for students of all ages to read and try to solve. The illustrations also enhance the book in a great way. The illustrations are another way that the story catches the readers attention. There are many colors and fun ways that the words and pictures are presented. I also enjoyed that this book was a nonfiction book and helped the students practice some math without feeling like they were doing homework. This book is a very fun way to go over some math with the students. ( )
  smurph33 | Oct 5, 2015 |
Funny in that Scieszka kind of way, with opportunities to sit and do some math while you're enjoying its humor. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
This cute short story tells of a girl with a whole world of math problems. Starting on Monday and to Wednesday, we follow this little girl as she tells the readers all of her problems. On Monday, Mrs. Fibonacci tells her students that almost everything can be thought of as a math problem. Ranging from how long it takes to get ready to how many pieces of pizza to ask for. By Wednesday she has it all figured out and has broken the curse! The author gives tables and charts in the back of the book for reference material.

This book would help students grasp the concept that we do in fact use math every single day. After reading it aloud, the teacher could have students think of something they do during the day and make a math problem out of it. Students are encouraged to see “outside the box” on a regular basis, but this book helps them do so with mathematics.

Realistic Fiction
Reading Level: 3.7
  rdg301library | May 24, 2015 |
This is a hilarious book that centers around a boy who becomes so frustrated with seeing math in every day life that he feels he is cursed. I, personally, think it is so funny because it is so true--once you realize math is literally in anything, its hard to not notice. I love how the book contains all the little math rhymes and riddles and equations. Great for 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade. ( )
  Hhaddad1 | Apr 30, 2015 |
This book can be challenging for younger grades but I think that it can be used for older grades and that as a teacher you can really build on the concepts.
  kes030 | Apr 28, 2015 |
I would break this book up over multiple lessons. I would use the problems in the book in the classroom, allowing the students to work alone or in groups to solve the problems. This book is laugh out loud funny and sure to give plenty of giggles while reteaching math lessons. ( )
  RachelBowers | Apr 28, 2015 |
Math is everywhere. Even when we least expect it, we are doing math. This book is about a student who develops a math anxiety after a math class. He begins to see math everywhere no matter what subject he is in. The book is filled with fun math problems that keep children thinking as they read. This book is great because it provides a great example of interdisciplinary courses, it mixes math with reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and keeping up with all the problems it had to offer. ( )
  amartino1208 | Apr 27, 2015 |
In this book, there is a child who cannot get math out of her head. It seems like everywhere she goes, she winds up putting math into it. Though this may seem like a good thing for a teacher to hear, the young child calls it a "curse". In the end, the child figures out how to break the math curse and she no longer thinks of math in every situation that he is in. This book was very enjoyable because it kept me intrigued, which means that children in a classroom would be just as intrigued as I was. This book also keeps children's minds focused on the book because they have to think the whole time because the book ask math questions that need to be solved. ( )
  krausch | Apr 23, 2015 |
Well, if a child isn't overwhelmed by all the math, s/he's probably overjoyed to realize that other people, too, can make fun with math everywhere. I wouldn't expect a child under about age 8 to get much out of this, but if s/he owns & re-reads the book, s/he will understand more of it with every year of study. Better yet, an adult who loves math should share it with the child.

I liked the pun near the end, showing that Language Arts (aka English, in some schools) is also useful. But Art class is supposed to be a time to relax with dot-to-dot pictures? Oh, silly Jon & Lane.

As far as recommending this - hey, you already know, I'm sure, whether you're a fan of either or both of these two authors. If you are, this is a book to consider buying. If you're not, you might want to get this from your library anyway cuz it's fun. Oh, and of course, if you're a fan of math, or a math teacher, you need this book. You don't need it because it's educational, but simply because it's fun and silly and shows that math can be fun, too.

(edited June 23) ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
This a fun book that walks through the life of a child for a day that can't stop thinking about math equations. This book is humerus and can find relation to the things that the child is experiencing. This book also has math equations that you have to try to figure out which will be fun to do with a class. ( )
  kdufrene | Apr 7, 2015 |
I love this book! The big idea of this story is to understand the importance of math. Math is everywhere and this book helps explain that to students. This is a good story for students to read in the beginning of the school year to acknowledge the importance of math. The point of view is told from the perspective of a little boy who started to realize that math is everywhere around him. For example, the book starts off by talking about what time he wakes up, what time the bus comes, and asking himself if he will have enough time to get ready. The illustrations in the book are vivid like the text. On each page there could be a huge illustration, with a few words or vice versa. One page has a chalkboard with all different equations with text around the chalkboard explain how he is in a dream trapped in a room with no doors and no windows. Lastly, the character is very engaging for students. He is easy to relate to because students have the same thoughts the little boy had. Sometimes math can be very challenging for students. The main character explains how overwhelmed he gets when his teacher keeps showing him different graphs. Students can relate to this very easily. I love this book because of how well it was put together. ( )
  ndange1 | Apr 5, 2015 |
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 |
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Jon Scieszka is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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