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One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Math! Review by Brandi Tesreau

Eric Yoder and Natalie Yoder
Science, Naturally!
725 Eighth Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

It's amazing how often math occurs in real life on a daily basis. Word problems can make my kids instantly squeamish, but they don't realize how important it is to be able to apply their math facts when solving everyday problems. Eric and Natalie Yoder, a father and daughter, have teamed up to provide readers of all ages with realistic scenarios you must solve with math. Kids will gain valuable thinking skills while having fun too!

Written for children between the ages of 10-14, this 176-page paperback consists of 65 one-minute math mysteries. Mysteries are divided into 5 categories: Math at Home, Math Outside, Math at Play, Math Every Day, and a Bonus Section. Black-and-white photos provided for each entertaining math situation add interest. Also included in the back of the book is a preview of another book by the Yoders, 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Science, which actually sounds very appealing to me! I think $9.95 is a decent price for One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Math!

Instead of having my children read this book on their own, we use it during what we call "couch time." This is when we gather as a family each morning to have Bible time, read-aloud time, etc. Reading a short math mystery every morning really gets the brain juices flowing! Plus, I think it promotes healthy competition between my boys, who are 8 and 11. Honestly, I am learning just as much as the kids are--I admit math isn't my favorite subject!

Just this morning we read about a predicament which involved replacing a worn-out kitchen floor. It was the perfect problem for my sixth grader, who has already studied area, and for my third grader, who is currently studying area. It involved money too, which definitely piqued my third grader's interest. He was delighted when he was the one to reach the correct answer first! Not all of the math mysteries are as easy as this one, but they are still fun to try to figure out. Even when my kids are completely clueless and I have to read the answers, I still feel that they are benefitting from the information.

I would recommend this book to parents and students who really love a math challenge and to families who want to start off their day with a dose of intellectual mystery!

Product review by Brandi Tesreau, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2010