Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Equation X-pose': Hot X: Algebra Exposed by Danica McKellar

If you know someone of tender years who is facing a new school year and already acquiring a full-blown case of algebra anxiety, there is help on the way!

Just out on August 3, author, actress, and mathematician Danica McKellar's latest book in her anti-math anxiety series, Hot X: Algebra Exposed (Hudson Street Press, 2010) , is just in time to save the day.

Having previously authored breezy guides on how to treat math phobia, ace exams, and score high on those standardized tests in her best-selling Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail and Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss, McKellar's aim is still to dissuade middle school and high school girls from assuming that algebra is something to fear and avoid. Her light-hearted style, with chummy anecdotes, personality quizzes, an eye-catching teen magazine layout, and personal experiences added to the mix, nevertheless focuses primarily on taking the mystery out of math with well-designed explanations, examples, practice, and invaluable insights into the ways of math.

McKeller, known for her roles in The Wonder Years and The West Wing, takes the anxious student by the virtual hand, with step-by-step examples of how to master polynomials, quadratic equations, square roots, and the whole algebra scene, enlivening her presentation with personality quizzes and advice on presenting yourself as a savvy student with confidence and poise. Although this book is unashamedly aimed at young women who want to master algebra with style and panache and look good doing it, boys who may not care if they can overcome algebra "without breaking a sweat or a nail" will likely be tempted to take a peek at Hot X: Algebra Exposed to assuage those algebra anxieties as they also face the coming semester.

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