Algebra Lessons Enhanced

   From sophistication to boredom, too much interference from mathematical textbooks prevents material understanding. However, one particular book is an exception even though “the only way to learn algebra is to do algebra problems. (A LOT of them. Sorry!)”
    Mathematics is important. From business to economics to problem solving, a difficult situation is converted into simple steps and explanation with mathematics. Probably the most essential subject, mathematics has given us a new way of seeing the world. A solid background in the subject opens doors to wonderful career opportunities.
   W. Michael Kelley’s The Humongous Book of Algebra Problems (2008) covers everything a student needs to know about algebra with comprehensive explanations to mathematical problems in algebra fundamentals to beginners’ geometry. In fact, additional explanations are written in the margins as if written down by hand after print. They are expressed as circled notes with drawn arrows pointing to areas lacking explanation or skipped steps. Additionally, the author shows his creativity by drawing skulls next to the most difficult problems. All these make the textbook unique and truly “translated for people who don’t speak math!”
   Most importantly, many may find this book entertaining. Entertainment stimulates memory as well as allow enjoyment in learning the skills. With his humorous introductions to chapters and positively casual notes, Michael Kelly has transformed what is perceived as soul-crushing work into amusing discoveries. For example, the distinction between textbook and hand-written notes is very original. The textbook text portion functions as what it is intended for. In other words, if all hand-written notes were removed, the book would read like any other school mathematics textbook. However, the addition of notes gives a somewhat positively childish approach to explanation.
   If the mind is still searching for more mathematical discoveries, W. Michael Kelly has published other educational works. His works include The Humongous Book of Calculus Problems, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Calculus, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Algebra, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Precalculus, Precalculus, The Humongous Book of Geometry Problems, The Humongous Book of Statistics Problems, Rookie Teaching for Dummies, and Master the AP Calculus AB & BC.
   His website,, shows his humor and enthusiasm for mathematics. It also features animated mathematics tutorials and calculus songs as well as an “About the Author” section of guaranteed humor, as it shows the author apparently cannot dance. This book is highly recommended for amusement and personal use as it is “more algebra problems than your worst nightmare-but with a BIG difference.”

Book Citation
Kelly, Michael. The Humongous Book of Algebra Problems. New York: Penguin Group, 2008.

About shooterboss

Canadian blogger and software engineer. Hopes to live in a lighthouse near Cape Cod in retirement.
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