For me, math is hard. That’s part of the reason why I’m a librarian (very little math on the job). It’s not a subject I’ve ever enjoyed, and my mind shuts down when it hears “what percentage of….?”. However, after reading this article about dyscalculia, as much as I’d like to blame my math deficiencies on a math disorder, I don’t think I can.
Dyscalculia describes severe learning disabilities in math, affecting up to 7 percent of all students. This disorder, which has often been overlooked in public schools, has been drawing more attention lately, as experts become more concerned about our country’s international ranking in math (which is getting worse). Dyscalculia functions similarly to dyslexia, except that dyscalculia makes it difficult for people to understand cardinal numbers, math symbols, and basic arithmetic. Dyscalculia is also harder to detect.
So, if you are one of us who struggles with math but does not suffer from dyscalculia, check out these math-related books. These books might help you get through that algebra class… and you’ll find a few novels in there about math, for good measure.
The title says it all—how to survive middle school math without losing your mind or breaking a nail.
The Math Dude’s Quick and Dirty Guide to Algebra by Jason Marshall
Quick and dirty tips on how to excel at algebra.
The Humongous Book of Algebra Problems: Translated for People who Don’t Speak Math!! by W. Michael Kelley
According to the cover, this book includes “1,000 algebra problems with comprehensive solutions for all the major topics of Algebra I and II”.
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Annoyed with his math teacher who assigns word problems and won’t let him use a calculator, twelve-year-old Robert finds help from the number devil in his dreams.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.