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Everything All At Once

Everything All At Once by [Ivy Cayden]

Everything All at Once is part of Ivy Cayden’s Chorduroys and Too Many Boys series. Here Cayden paints a fresh and interesting narrative portraying all the ups and downs of teenage life. It’s filled-to-the-brim with interesting characters and twisting plot developments. This riveting story follows our main character, Kila Lorens, and how she navigates her way through relationships and teenage life in general. Cayden paints a vivid and realistic picture of teenage life. The worries and trials and tribulations young people typically face are things often forgotten as we get older, like worrying about our first kiss, heartbreak, and losing friends. The book does a fantastic job of capturing the emotional turmoil of that time in our lives. Young people will undoubtedly find themselves relating to parts of this story, and adults will be treated to waves of embarrassing yet-somehow-comforting nostalgia.

Aspects of this book felt very personal and raw, cringy in a good way, but the nostalgia brought it back to being charming. I thoroughly enjoyed being thrown back into my younger years through this book. My favorite element of this book was the addition of an accompanying playlist; each song assigned to a part of the story. Alongside Cayden’s descriptive imagery and detail, the music added a fantastic depth to the events. I felt far more immersed and connected to the mood and the character’s conflicts while listening to the songs they were listening to in the story. All the songs were clearly selected carefully to fit the tone of the event, and they all fit perfectly. With Cayden’s great knowledge of music, hosting an indie music blog, I was not at all surprised to find so many fantastic hidden gems in this playlist. I truly adored this element of the book, alongside the story itself, because of how much more it added to it. This element really set it apart from other typical teen-fiction I’ve read in the past.

Everything All At Once is a charming and emotionally stirring novel. The immersive and relatable conflicts were so exciting and addictive that I found myself unable to put the book down! I would love to read more of Cayden’s work in the future.

Pages: 496 | ASIN: B07NZ115DG

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Algebra for the Urban Student: Using Stories to Make Algebra Fun and Easy

Algebra for the Urban Student: Using Stories to Make Algebra Fun and Easy by [Lee, Canaa]

Before you read my review of Algebra for the Urban Student: Using Stories to Make Algebra Fun and Easy by Canaa Lee, you should know that I am one of those strange people who really enjoy a good Algebra problem. I have always loved Algebra, so I was pretty excited to get my hands on a book about Algebra for review purposes. I am also a homeschooling parent so I am always interested in textbooks, especially those that incorporate new methods of learning. This book did not disappoint.

Lee is a high school math teacher who conceived of the idea for this book while she was working at Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. She was a math teacher given the task of figuring out how to incorporate reading and literacy into her math class. To do this, she would find several topics in her class that shared a theme and try to build a story around them in order to teach them together. The book relies heavily on building an ongoing story throughout the entire course in order to help students retain knowledge and follow along as they shift from one concept to another. As someone right in the midst of teaching Algebra, I think this is a brilliant concept.

Lee wanted to demonstrate to her students that Algebra could be demystified and could become more than just a jumble of numbers and letters. This is especially important in some urban environments where the population is largely poor and underrepresented when it comes to education. Test results from many urban areas prove this time and again. I also know from teaching my own children (who hate math) that making the concepts of Algebra clearer can be a daunting task. Incorporating these concepts into stories can get through to students who simply don’t learn from numbers alone.

The book covers a plethora of relevant and important topics: equations, inequalities, absolute value, graphing, slope, ordered pairs, slope-intercept form, relations, functions, statistics, ratios, proportions, rate of change, compound inequalities, geometry, perimeter, area, surface area, volume, factoring, quadratic equations, quadratic trinomials, parabolas, domain, range, vertex, vertical stretch, horizontal stretch, horizontal shift, polynomials, monomials, binomials, trinomials, leading coefficients, and discriminants. It was very thorough. The author provides ample practice problems throughout the book. She also makes it very clear how the problems relate to every day life. I found it very relatable and relevant.

I would rate the book a 4 on a 5-point scale. Providing a supplement with an answer key to check the answers after doing the problems would definitely move it up to a 5. This is a book I would use in teaching my own children when we run across a particularly troubling concept. Lee has made math relatable for people who might have trouble.

Pages: 88 | ASIN: B0792VFC1W

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