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NUMBED! by David Lubar

NUMBED!

By David Lubar

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4677-0594-3
Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Sixth-graders Logan and Benedict are zapped by a mathematics-loving robot, numbing them to the power of numbers.

Benedict cannot obey the rules, and Logan tries to keep his buddy in check in this over-the-top school fantasy. While on a boring trip to the Mobius Mathematical Museum, Benedict sees a restricted experimental area, roped-off and forbidden. Of course he ducks under the ropes and into danger. Soon, the boys meet Dr. Thagoras and his amazing robot, Cypher. After they insult the robot, he zaps all number knowledge out of their brains. Only relearning math in the controlled environment of the museum will allow them to regain the use of the mathematical parts of their brains. What raises this from sheer silliness is the way the boys earn their math powers back. First, they learn addition and subtraction and think they are done. But no, they need to remaster multiplication and division, geometry and probability as well. The tests the boys have to pass are enjoyable and entertaining, stretching readers’ brains and reinforcing the power of math. Teachers will enjoy reading this aloud and challenging their students.

While the plot might be a little thin, the number ideas more than make up for it. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole here, which is probably exactly the point. (Fantasy. 8-12)