MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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School Scandalle (2004)
Marla Weiss
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In 80 short chapters (each of which has the word "First" in its title), this book relates the sordid details in the professional life of a computer science and math teacher at a private school in Florida. Some of these details are of the scandalous "who is having an affair with who?"-type, but most have to do with education itself. Which computers should be put in the lab? What method should the students on the math team use to solve a problem involving the concentration of a chemical solution? Why is it wrong to call someone a computer teacher or to use a single hyphen to separate clauses in English? Etc.

Rather than being a plot driven novel, I get the feeling that this was an opportunity for the author to put in print many of her strongly held opinions regarding education. (The protagonist, Molly, is probably very much like the author, Marla...but I do not know that for sure.) I'm afraid that means that it would bore most readers. But, if you happen to be in math education, scenes like the one in which Molly defends her classroom methods against an angry parent who claims her problems are too difficult for sixth graders may hold your interest.

Contributed by Anonymous

While humorous and at times, entertaining, I have a feeling this book was written in "revenge mode" to avenge the author from certain horrible situations in real life. Although cloaked under the guise of "fiction", it bares explicit, factual resemblances to real people, places and circumstances. It was an interesting read for me only by virtue of that fact that I personally know all these people, places and circumstances around which the story is based. Mathematics did suffer because of the way this place was mismanaged, however, so did every other subject area and many of the educators as well. Perhaps I shall write my own ..."and now you know the REST of the story" version. Truly, it would be quite a saga. I do lament with the author that..."for one brief shining moment there was a place called...."

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Works Similar to School Scandalle
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender
  2. Dude, can you count? by Christian Constanda
  3. Against the Odds by Martin Gardner
  4. Long Division by Michael Redhill
  5. Alphabet by Chelsea Spear
  6. An Old Arithmetician by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman
  7. The Devotion of Suspect X [YĆ“gisha X no kenshin] by Keigo Higashino
  8. The Housekeeper and the Professor (Hakase No Aishita Sushiki) by Yoko Ogawa
  9. Mean Girls by Tina Fey (screenplay) / Mark S. Waters (director)
  10. Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Stout
Ratings for School Scandalle:
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:
2.5/5 (2 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
1/5 (2 votes)
..

Categories:
Genre
MotifMath Education,
TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,
MediumNovels,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)