The Case of the Carnival Clues

Amicus Illustrated. (Mini Math Mysteries). Jan. 2022. 24p. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781645490067.
K-Gr 3–Part “Chose Your Own Adventure” and part Stuart J. Murphy’s “Mathstart,” this book uses a story to help children learn about math and money. Four children of varying skin tones and physical abilities attempt to solve the mystery of who wrote clues at the school carnival. Each clue is a money math problem connected to a carnival game. If readers get the answer right, they are advanced to a designated page of the story. If readers get the problem wrong, they are taken to a teaching page that explains the solution. The mysterious clue writer is hardly mentioned as the children work through the problems, but the adventure of solving each clue is compelling and propels the story along. In the end, it is Mrs. Penn, the principal, who left the clues. Because of their skills, the four children are selected for the citywide math competition. Colorful drawings and short paragraphs make this an easy to read, visually appealing book. Children will enjoy the challenge of solving each problem, and adults will love the math practice presented in a fun format. The specific narrow subject of money math, along with the interactive story, differentiates this work and may make it a high circulating item in math collections.
VERDICT Because of the interactive story format and the learning potential, this book is a must purchase.

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