Do The Math #2: The Writing On The Wall


Tess is an eighth grader who loves solving problems by using mathematics formulas. Graffiti with coded messages are appearing on walls around the school, and Tess believes the graffiti artist may want to harm her. The school principal caught Tess responding to a graffiti message and suspended her from school. Then her parents grounded her. How can she identify the graffiti tagger and prove her innocence?

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

The book will raise the reader's curiosity because it integrates math formulas and puzzles into the plot. They keep him/her actively engaged from beginning to end.

Content Awareness Factors:


Young Reader Reaction

This is a book targeted towards girls in their early years of middle school. I mostly liked the book, but the math references could be a little too advanced for this group. The author provides a brief, but adequate explanation of each concept as it is introduced, and I personally thought the explanations were a great component to fully understanding Tess's thoughts. All of the characters in this book have such real personalities that they are easily visualized and you can relate to them. The plot also has quite a few variants. There is some mystery and romance; and the math principles are taught well and reinforced. On the whole, I enjoyed reading The Writing on the Wall very much. This book is definitely one I would buy for a friend who loves reading and math.

Parent Reaction

This is a believable story and it quickly engages the reader. This is fun to read. The device of integrating math formulas and puzzles as integral parts of the plot is unique. Working the puzzles was fun.

Type of Book:
This chapter book for preteens features a math-loving girl as its protagonist.
Educational Themes:

The author makes it easy for the reader to be at ease by simultaneously experiencing adolescence along with Tess and her friends. The puzzles offer great practice in logic and math. Teachers or parents will find lots of opportunity for sharing thoughts and dealing with questions about growing up.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
11 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
10 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. This is a fun read for the tweener set. The characters are believable, the plot is engaging, and the reader will find the story hard to put down.

Title The Writing on the Wall

Do the Math, Book 2

Author Wendy Lichtman
Publisher Greenwillow Books, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2008
ISBN 9780061229589
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.99
Genres Math, Friendship, Coming of Age, Games, Gaming and Puzzles, Realism | Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
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