Sunday, May 4, 2008

Do the Math #2: The Writing on the Wall by Wendy Lichtman

The Writing on the Wall is about four middle school girls who very realistically face the same problems all middle school girls face including dealing with bullies, parents, and teachers; while trying to maintain friendships and accept the consequences for their actions. Most importantly, the girls grow up little by little as life teaches them lessons. Since I have also been a victim of some of the exact bullying behaviors recently, it was interesting to see how she resolved the issues. I also resolved my issues in a very similar way and was initially a victim for nearly an identical reason.

In The Writing on the Wall Tess, an exceptional math student is on the Math team and the school newspaper. A fire is started in Mr. Z’s classroom, and Tess uncovers the culprit through the use of clever math. She knows there are four distinctly identifying truths that the culprit must possess, and by breaking the law and getting into trouble, she is able to determine who the arsonist is. Surprisingly, the arsonist is not who she suspected, nor is the person feeding her clues who she suspected. In the end everything works out like it’s supposed to.

Her enduring relationship with her grandfather is of great comfort to her when she needs support, and her blossoming romance with Damien are comforts to her when she needs someone to lean on.

I recommend this book to any 7th or 8th grader, male or female because it is a modern day version of the old Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys series. Kids today are more likely to relate to this book because it is set in their time with their issues and surroundings.


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