Mystery Math: A First Book of Algebra by David A. Adler and illustrated by Edward Miller is a basic visual introduction of Algebra. Educational and fun--especially for kids all ready to dress up for their annual Halloween candy hunt! Yep, this book uses plenty of skeletons, bats, pumpkins, ravens, black cats, owls and a monster named Igor to get its point across. The illustrations are brightly and creatively drawn up to tempt the reader to want to turn to the next page!
The book begins by comparing algebra equations to a seesaw, and the importance of making both sides balanced. I loved the simplicity of this statement. The next page goes on to give an example of an equation. This also is a basic piece of knowledge extremely important to understanding algebra.
I really appreciate how the author likens an algebraic equation to figuring out a mystery. Genius! Mention the word "mystery" and students' ears perk!
What comes next are ways that algebra equations can be solved; either through addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division, along with examples of each.
Don't forget the important rule of algebra! This book also includes real equations that the children in the book set out to solve. Make it fun and have your students solve it, too!
And just because the book ends, doesn't mean the fun has to! At the end of this spooky book is a fantastic math project for your students: Make a balance Scale!
Looking for free algebra worksheets? Try Math Worksheets for Kids. I like this site because there are a variety of worksheets to meet the needs of all of your students. It's so important to meet your students right where they are at!
Check out David Adler and Edward Miller's other books about math: Perimeter, Area and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions and Fractions, Decimals and Percents and Working with Fractions. David Adler, a former math instructor, has written countless books for children. To read more about Adler, check out his website.