a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Getting Somewhere (1995)
Jenny Pausacker

In this Australian novel for teenagers, a student who lives in the shadow of her twin is able to find her own identity and some self-respect with the help of a maths teacher. The teacher challenges her with some open ended problems from discrete dynamics, such as studying the orbits of the difference equation
with different initial values. The literally chaotic behavior of such systems, and her ability to understand them, gives her a new way to think about the world and a greater confidence in herself.

Mathematician Robyn Arianrhod is said to have collaborated with the author on the mathematical portions. This book was republished in England in 1999, but now is difficult to obtain.

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Works Similar to Getting Somewhere
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Saraswati's Way by Monika Schroder
  2. Claudia and the Middle School Mystery (Baby-sitters Club) by Ann Martin
  3. The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods by Ann Cameron
  4. The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine
  5. Mean Girls by Tina Fey (screenplay) / Mark S. Waters (director)
  6. The Number Devil [Der Zahlenteufel] by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  7. Recess (Episode: A Genius Among Us) by Brian Hamill
  8. Sophie Simon Solves them All by Lisa Graff
  9. Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley
  10. Forever Changes by Brendan Halpin
Ratings for Getting Somewhere:
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GenreYoung Adult,
MotifMath Education,
TopicReal Mathematics, Chaos/Fractals,

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Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)