Books + Reading = ?

November 28, 2012

So often I hear other educators saying “How do I incorporate reading in math class?” or “There aren’t any good books out there about math” and I’m sorry friends, but that’s just not true anymore. Are they few and far between? Well, maybe when you compare their popularity with literary fiction and other genres. but listen, engaging stories that incorporate and use mathematics are out there, you just need to be willing to tap into a few resources before you give up searching.

 

As a caveat, I hope you know that I understand that finding the time to look for books might not be easy, or fun per-say, but it is necessary. That being said, I encourage all you math-minded folks to get connected to some sites that are in-the-know about the latest and greatest books for young readers and find those math books!

 

So, the reason I bring this up, is not because I’m a math lover (for those of you who know I’ve always struggled with math) but because I can across a great new Top 10 List of Fun Math books written for Nery Books Club by Sue VanHattum. The books are listed beginning with those for the youngest readers to adult readers. VanHattum herself says “give it a chance. You’ll be glad you did.” Additionally, she two other resources for you to check out are listed at the bottom of her post. The first is her personal blog Math Mama Writes, and livingmath.net which is a cite that offers lessons, games, articles, and more. So check them out! And share these resources with those math-people you know, the next time they express discouragement.

Reading Binge

November 19, 2012

Recently I went on a little bit of a reading binge. I had a small opening in my schedule a few weeks ago where I had some time to either pick up a book or watch a tv show and I knew exactly which I was going to do. I had two books sitting on my bookshelf that I recently purchased at Ollies (both under $3!) and so I picked up Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann and began reading.  I’m not sure if it was because the book was riveting, because I hadn’t read for pleasure in weeks, or both but I blew through this book. (FYI- this book is appropriate for student in grades 8/9 and up.)

The story takes place in the small town of Cryer’s Cross in the potato farming community of rural Montana. Tragedy strikes Cryer’s Cross when a young freshman disappears from the small town without a trace. Her disappearance goes unsolved and doesn’t particularly affect high school senior and protagonist Kendall Fletcher. The story really takes off when someone near and dear to Kendall goes missing just as quickly and expectantly as Tiffany had. Kendall’s world begins to head in a downward spiral when her OCD is pushed into overdrive by her emotional loss and she starts to think she’s gone crazy when she starts to hear voices, and not just any voices; voices from the missing. Kendall tries to battle her OCD and these voices which begin to sound more and more like her friend when she sees a message scratched into the desk where the missing student used to sit. Kendall tries to unravel the mysteries of Crayer’s Cross while trying to manage her grief, OCD, and desire to let go and move on with her senior year and her plans for college.

This story was really well written. It’s captivating and edgy, and the point of view of a person struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder is a new approach for such a story. It was well done and such a quick read. So quick, in fact, that I picked up another book in two days time.

The second book, Ghost Flower by Michele Jaffe, was similar in that the protagonist is a girl who is working to overcome personal struggles while solving the mystery of one young girls disappearance and the connection it has to another girls murder and her beyond wealthy and dysfunctional family. This book is at a higher reading level and most likely more appropriate for someone 16 or 17 and up. It is also a really great story. This one had me reading into the early morning hours because of the amazing cliff hangers and constantly changing suspects and suspicions. Overall it was a good read. So check it out!