MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Dear Dumb Diary Year Two #1: School. Hasn't This Gone on Long Enough? (2012)
Jim Benton
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Contributed by Vijay Fafat

An extremely witty, funny look at the psychology of a second-grader who hates mathematics. As she records her thoughts in her diary, you see glimpses of daily issues which irk and stagger a young child. Throughout the book, her views on math, math teachers, and math problems create a punching bag which serious followers of mathematics may find stereotypical (but I found myself chuckling and laughing throughout). This book is one of a series of “Dear Dumb Diary” books.

Excerpts:

“A kid who brags about his math skills is called an Algebrat”

“I, for one, believe that someone needs to sit Math down in a chair and say, ‘Math, it’s time that you stopped creating issues like this for yourself. If you won’t, we think that you should start solving your own problems, and not come crying to us whenever you want to know the solution to some imaginary drama that you’ve cooked up’ {like the problem of a grape-hoarding Mark who has 100 grapes, 10 of which are taken away by Shawn and Math wants to know how many Mark has left}”

“Mr. Henzy, my math teacher, STILL seems interested in teaching me math, in spite of a great deal of evidence that it can’t be done. It’s kind of cute, like watching a baby try to reach something just outside his crib. A big, mean, boring baby. See, he gives me math problems, but I know that deep down I’m HIS math problem […] so he gives me bad grades, sends notes to my parents at home, who let me know over dinner that they are not happy about it.”

“This may sound like a negative attitude but it is hard to be positive about numbers after you have learned that half of them are negative themselves.”

“In my math problems, Lady Gaga drives her own bus”

“This is one of the great things with words – you get to learn new ones all the time. It doesn’t happen that way with numbers” [followed by a cartoon about a mathematician who discovers a number between 7 and 8 and her colleagues going giddy]

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Works Similar to Dear Dumb Diary Year Two #1: School. Hasn't This Gone on Long Enough?
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Sir Cumference and the... by Cindy Neuschwander
  2. The Simpsons: Girls Just Want to Have Sums by Matt Selman
  3. Recess (Episode: A Genius Among Us) by Brian Hamill
  4. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  5. Kim Possible (Episode: Mathter and Fervent) by Jim Peronto (script)
  6. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster / Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
  7. Train Brains / The Runaway Train (Donald Duck) by Carl Barks
  8. Harvey Plotter and the Circle of Irrationality by Nathan Carter / Dan Kalman
  9. The Clueless Girl's Guide to Being a Genius by Janice Repka
  10. Monster's Proof by Richard Lewis
Ratings for Dear Dumb Diary Year Two #1: School. Hasn't This Gone on Long Enough?:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
1/5 (1 votes)
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Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreHumorous, Children's Literature,
MotifMath Education,
Topic
MediumNovels,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)