Do the Math
Secrets, Lies, and Algebra
Using concepts from algebra and relating them to life, Tess navigates the waters of friendship, popularity, and family.
Math lover Tess has always used mathematical concepts to help her understand things in her life. She is surprised to find out how much math—and life—can change in eighth grade.
She also has to learn about injustice and ethics when a family friend mysteriously dies, and when she witnesses a cheating episode at her school and realizes that keeping silent about it, even to get in the good graces of the cutest boy in school, only leads to more trouble.
Are theorems and axioms about life fail-safe? Is there an absolute answer to everything, just as there are absolute numbers?
In the end, Tess decides that her life, like the infinity sign, is always changing, but that as long as she sticks to some key principles for herself, she can handle life’s uncertainties.
Greenwillow Books, 9780061229572, 208pp.
Publication Date: May 27, 2008
About the Author
Wendy Lichtman writes personal essays for the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Good Housekeeping, among other national publications. She has also written four previous young adult novels, including Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra. She holds a degree in mathematics and has tutored public-school students in algebra for several years. When she decided to write about a teenage girl who realizes that some questions have more than one right answer, algebra, with its unknowns and variables, seemed a perfect metaphor. Wendy Lichtman lives in Berkeley, California.