Monday, September 22, 2008
Teenage celebritydom is a tricky situation. It's very difficult for child/teen stars to successfully steer their careers into young adulthood and remain in the public eye. It's not difficult to find sad stories of child stars unable to cope with adulthood.
Danica McKellar is definitely not one of the sad stories of child stardom. As Winnie Cooper on the hit 80s television show, The Wonder Years, McKellar was one of the top teen stars of the 1980s. She wasn't completely out of work once the show ended, but it wasn't the same. When it was time for college, she attended UCLA and majored in mathematics.
Since then, she has enjoyed a very successful second career: encouraging girls to enjoy math. Although the number of girls taking advanced math classes has increased, there still remains a fear/wariness of math among girls. In her first book, Math Doesn't Suck, McKellar put a fun and inspiring spin on middle school math. The book was enormously successful, becoming a bestseller and earning her scores of young teen girl fans.
In her second book, Kiss My Math, McKellar guides girls through the often intimidating world of pre-algebra. With real-life examples, helpful hints, quotes from teen girls, and more, Kiss My Math is a great resource for girls just starting or in the thick of pre-algebra. McKellar wants girls to think that math is fun and not impossible; her two books definitely get the message across!
(McKellar's website offers fully worked out problems for Math Doesn't Suck. The books include an answer key, but you can go to her website to get the fully worked out solutions. I'm assuming the same will be offered for Kiss My Math.)