Hot X by Danica McKellar

I knew McKellar had done a few math books in the style of teen magazines, so when I saw this at the library, I picked it up. Miss Adventure is doing some algebra, so I wondered if it would be a useful addition to our homeschooling library.

Subtitle: Algebra Exposed!

Published: 2010

Genre: mathematics nonfiction

Length: 397 pages of text, 417 pages with index and answer key

Summary: The book walks the reader through the major topics of algebra. Chapter topics include dealing with variables, graphing equations, word problems, exponents and roots, and quadratic equations. Each chapter includes worked examples, usually done in multiple approaches, reminders about skills you should remember from previous math topics, and takeaway tips on solving those types of equations. Each chapter is also sprinkled with personality quizzes, testimonials from other teens, and stories from professional women (not necessarily mathematicians). There is an answer key at the end of the book, and full worked problems can be found online.

Final thoughts: This book is definitely targeted at teen girls. Everything from the fonts to the clip art to the language to the interstitial bits is there to attract the attention of a girl. The math is solid, and it’s sprinkled with other bits of information and stories to inspire the girl reading the book to keep trying and make something of herself. It definitely could be a useful book for someone struggling in math class, providing a more interesting reference than your typical textbook. It doesn’t have enough problems to work to make this a primary math book for us, but I may keep it in mind as a supplement when Miss Adventure revisits algebra.

Title comes from: It’s a play on the teen magazine covers, especially since the cover also includes the phrases “5 minutes to a better mood” and “boy-crazy confessionals” and other lines to grab your attention.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book or subtitle, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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