Thus Spake Zuska

Danica McKellar’s New Book

I never got around to reviewing Danica McKellar’s first book, Math Doesn’t Suck, and now she’s got a second one out, Kiss My Math. You gotta love the title at least. I think she’s got a whole franchise going here. Maybe by the time she puts out her calculus book I’ll get my review of Math Doesn’t Suck up on the blog.

Hat tip to Veronica for letting me know about this.

Comments

  1. #1 Matt Springer
    August 8, 2008

    I saw this on sale in the Atlanta airport a couple weeks back. I think it’s great. Anyone who can write a successful pop-math book aimed at middle-schoolers has performed a genuine miracle.

  2. #2 PhysioProf
    August 8, 2008

    Unfortunately her first book contained a bunch of “ou can so fulfill the patriarchal demands of femininity and do math” shit. Let us know about this one.

  3. #3 Pat
    August 9, 2008

    We had a 12 year old girl review “Math Doesn’t Suck” http://www.fairerscience.org/fs-blogs/2007/09/math_doesnt_suck_a_review.html
    and are planning to do the same with “Kiss My Math”

    Pat

  4. #4 Zuska
    August 13, 2008

    From the preview I saw of it on the web, I expect it to be pretty much in the same vein as “Math Doesn’t Suck!” I am of mixed feelings about this approach. The format is somewhat based on teen fashion mags, which aren’t particularly empowering literary models. It would appeal to a certain segment of girls, and draw them in to math when they might not otherwise be so engaged. But it doesn’t do anything to support the girls who are interested in math and who don’t buy into the typical obsession with clothes, makeup, boys that girls are expected to cultivate. You could argue that this isn’t the book McKellar set out to write, and you just have to take the one she did write and evaluate it as it is. The review that Pat cites above is unabashedly positive and we can’t discount that evidence. Perhaps my favorite part of that review is this line:

    McKellar uses examples that everyone can relate to, like how much a dress costs if it was originally $60 and is now 20% off.

    I have to confess I do like the idea of centering the female perspective in that way, as something “everyone” can relate to. Goodbye to all those male-centered math word problems!

  5. #5 Bing
    August 20, 2008

    Isn’t the whole point of math education, and what makes certain species of feminist criticism of word problems irrelevant, the fact that you are supposed to be able to disregard extraneous information in the question “Tina is buying dresses. If each dress is $150, she buys five dresses and brought $800 dollars with her, will she have enough to but that sweet Armani bag on the bargain rack for $60?” I mean, you don’t translate that into “Tina + dress = pretty,” you are figuring out how much she needs.

    HJ