Wendy Lichtmans Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra depicts an 8th grade student named Tess. Tess views the world through math and constantly relates everyday situations to mathematical concepts, however, as she works through her algebra class, she finds that solutions can change and sometimes they do not exist. Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra examines a wide range of mathematical concepts as Tess relates her dramatic life to math. This comparison flows with the text and seems like a natural way of incorporating math with the plot of the story. This was likely his unusual way of referring to these numbers as important, however, Tess picks this apart in her mind stating that this was the stupidest math connection Mr. Wright has made and that none of these numbers are prime. In conclusion, Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra makes some great mathematical connections as well as some forced connections. However, based on the lack of climax and the unnatural way many of the mathematical concepts are introduced, I feel that some students will begin to question connections the author makes and lose interest as the story progresses.
Secrets, Lies, and Algebra is about this girl named Tess who pretty much thinks about math all the time. Because Rob was saying weird and "creepy" (which actually wasn't that creepy at all) things to her mom, Tess freaks and says that her mom needs to tell the police that Rob could have murdered his wife. Then we get sucked into Tess's school life, and we meet her friend Miranda and Sammy, and she decides to tell the secret to them. FIRST OF ALL: Tess broke the promise and disobeyed her mother by telling Miranda and Sammy. This is more like a first grader wondering if she can tell her friends about this secret she has. So here's the lie: Tess said to her mother that she only told Miranda and Sammy, but she also told her history teacher Mr. Wright. She disobeys her parents AND corrects her teachers because they say stupid things about math that irritate her. C) She doesn't realize that there are things she can't tell her friends. She only talked about how variables irritated her in ONE PAGE. Another problem that irritated me: WHAT DOES A MURDER HAVE TO DO WITH ALGEBRA? I feel like that was irrelevant to the story, even though that was the main thing. Heck, I would have enjoyed a story just about Tess, a romance, friend drama, and sure, you can put the test-cheating in there. I think the author pretty much said that it was probably a suicide, but it wasn't blatantly stated: "Oh, it really was a suicide. Oh well, back to my life about math and everything." Like, seriously, they never said, and the ending was them making a circle staring at the inside of their ankles.
Secrets, Lies, and Algebra by Wendy Lichtman is a book about this middle school girl named Tess and she loves math. She is a middle school girl and is trying to cope with the troubles of this time in her life, just as many people deal with their biggest problems at the same age as she. In this book Tess loves math, because every problem has only one answer and it never changes.
She learns different ways to solve these problems, especially through math. I also learned the different ways Tess solves her problems, and hope I they can help me with my conflicts, as they did for Tess.
On top of that, Tess had come home from school one day and her mom was talking on the phone to her dad in a very worried manner, but the odd thing was, was that Tess's mom is never home before her. " But why in the car, why would she be dead in the car?" Read this book to find out who she is talking about and what Mr. Richard was doing. I liked how there was a other problem in the story about Mr. Richards as well.
Don't be fooled by the decent length, math elements, or book cover. Secrets, Lies, and Algebra mainly revolves around Tess (No last name?...)and the death of another character named Nina.
It does seem pretty dark for a book about middle schoolers, but then that's the age when kids tend to encounter real grown-up issues and have to figure out what to think about them.
I found all of the characters to be uninteresting; just like the book.
It was a good but there were to many math parts.
Wendy Lichtman writes personal essays for the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Good Housekeeping, among other national publications.