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Math Curse by Jon Scieszka

Math Curse (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,5451434,753 (4.23)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 142 (next | show all)
As a math lover i really liked this book. It made me feel smart. It filled with math problems that are not typically used. Like how many corn flakes are in a cereal bowl. I can not remember all of the fun math problems they have in the book, but ill tell you that this book does not disappoint. This type of book would be fun to read with students in the class or a child at home who is frustrated with math. It teaches children that math is used everyday and it can always come into play. ( )
  twalsh | Apr 25, 2016 |
Reading this book gave me anxiety, I am not going to lie. I felt all the emotions that I remember back in elementary and middle school with math until I become comfortable with it all. This book centers around a young girl who is given a "math curse." One day, she is told that you can think of everything like a math problem and this is what starts the chain of events. The girl then starts to think of every single thing in her life as a math problem and can not escape the madness. Finally, she finds the key to her curse and it is broken! I think that this book really touches on the stress that many students feel when they encounter math. This can be a subject that is really difficult and sometimes you feel that everyone else has this secret answer key and you do not. This book really deals with the real emotions that math can bring up. While doing this, it also has problems that the students can complete. The puns in this book are also pretty great! ( )
  mlanford3 | Apr 18, 2016 |
If I were to read this as a child, well, I wouldn't. The anxiety this little girl feels in the story is evident and brings the anxiety to life (something I would not have had patience for as a child). It has so many great math problems to work with children. This would be ideal to work on problem solving. I give it four stars for this reason and also because the illustrations are fun. In personal preference, the book is not for me. It is very wordy. I have never liked word problems in math. With ADHD, deciphering it all can be time consuming and frustrating. This little girl's anxiety with math would have been my anxiety with word problems. ( )
  dbuster | Apr 16, 2016 |
This book is about how a child starts to think about her life in math terms. Everywhere she looks and everything she does she sees a math problems. Her anxiety makes her believe that she is math cursed and when she is about to break her curse something else happens. This is a science fiction story (math-anxiety fiction). The pictures and illustrations are fun and are made with oil pain and collage. ( )
  tflores15 | Mar 27, 2016 |
A young man wakes up and begins to see everything as a math problem. From how much time he needs to get ready to applying fractions to the lunch line to trying to buy a candy bar, he sees nothing but math, math, math. The style of writing in the book is done in a way that involves students in a question and answer format and allows the reader to engage with the main character to solve the problem. The language used is grade appropriate and fun and is used to create tension in the book (a sense of panic in the character) so that the reader is engaged in seeing the world through a mathematics lens that the character must work to remove if he's ever to find rest from problem solving. The style of writing peaks the students interest as they are given true or false questions and multiple choice answers as the character's dilemmas unfold. The book contains sound mathematical content and teaches students in a way that is engaging and interesting. The plot is developed in a way that keeps the reader's interest and makes them want to see how the main character gets our from under the 'math curse'. Character development is minimal, if at all, and the setting is underdeveloped, but really isn't necessary to the way the story is written.
Genre: Picture book, concept book (can be used to teach money, fractions, number sequences, etc.), contemporary realistic fiction (it could be something that the reader could picture happening, as a lot of children struggle with solving word problems and see them as confusing, a "curse").
Media: I think it is graphite, colored pencils and pastels. ( )
  JessicaRojas | Mar 24, 2016 |
This book was very clever and creative. Every detail in this book was math oriented. This is a very fun but also educational book. Perfect book to use in math class to help stimulate and engage students. ( )
  ashleypierce | Dec 1, 2015 |
This is all about how one child just cannot escape math. Everything she thinks about becomes a math problem to her. ( )
  glguerra | Dec 1, 2015 |
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 |
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