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Why They Go Up and Down

by David A. Adler ; illustrated by Edward Miller

Pub Date: May 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-8234-3293-6
Publisher: Holiday House

You can spell math with an “a” as in angst, aghast or agog, or you can spell it with an “A” as in Adler. Your move.

Adler has been squashing math anxiety for many a season. Here he takes on some elementary economics, and everyone knows economics is where fun goes to die. While this may not be one of Adler’s merriest offerings, he has the very good sense to explain the basic laws of supply and demand with a lemonade stand as the vehicle. And everyone knows there are about as many people out there who don’t like lemonade on a hot day as there are people who thrill to credit-default swaps and Gaussian copula formulas. As Adler doles out the cups of lemonade, prices fluctuate according to supply and demand. He introduces the concepts of fixed and variable costs, revenue and variable profit. He poses the fundamentals in such a way—and Miller in colors as enticing as snow cones—that many young readers prompted to explore them further may wonder why the price of diamonds is so high when the supply runneth over (at least for now). In Adler’s capable hands, there is life in economics yet.

Adler always finds a canny way into the math game, both practical and enjoyable.

(Math picture book. 6-10)