Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure Spiral-Bound | March 25, 2014

Edward Einhorn, David Clark (Illustrated by)

Rebinding by Spiralverse

★★★☆☆+ from 101 to 500 ratings

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“No question—a large fraction of parents and teachers will be reaching for this” entertaining math adventure that introduces simplified and reduced fractions with intrigue and humor (Kirkus)

When a valuable fraction goes missing, George Cornelius Factor (a.k.a. GCF) vows to track it down. Knowing that the villainous Dr. Brok likes to disguise his ill-gotten fractions, G.C.F. invents a Reducer—half ray gun, half calculator— that strips away the disguise, reducing the fraction to its lowest common denominator and revealing its true form. With the Reducer in hand, George seeks out Dr. Brok in hopes of retrieving the missing fraction.

Equal parts action and humor add up to a wholly entertaining introduction to simplifying fractions. David Clark’s illustrations are packed with humorous details as well as clearly defined fractions and their corresponding reduction equations.
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Original Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 32 pages
ISBN-10: 1570917744
Item Weight: 0.4 lbs
Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 9.5 inches
Customer Reviews: 3 out of 5 stars 101 to 500 ratings
Not only tackling fractions, but simplifying them, this fills a need and thoroughly entertains. George Cornelius Factor (G.C.F., get it?) collects fractions. But he’s not alone: Baron von Mathematik and Madame de Géométrique also covet the 5/8 that is newly up for auction. But the nefarious Dr. Brok, a master of disguise, steals it. He ‘can take a 1/2 and turn it into a 2/4 or a 3/6. It’s still the same fraction, but it looks different.’ George won't be deterred. He invents a Reducer-half ray gun, half calculator-that zaps fractions into their lowest terms and goes to Dr. Brok’s mansion to confront him and find the 5/8. A clever bit of detective work and a rousing action sequence later, and the 5/8 is back to its lowest terms and part of George’s collection. Throughout, Einhorn finds ways to humorously add fractions to his tale—the fraction lovers bid portions of $1 million, and Brok’s mansion is 1/10 of a mile tall—and painlessly describes the process of reducing them to their lowest terms. Backmatter summarizes the learning, though not as simply as the text. Clark’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations truly make the characters’ personalities shine. Dr. Brok looks something like professor Hinkle of Frosty the Snowman fame, while the pages simply ooze with the aura of a great mystery. No question—a large fraction of parents and teachers will be reaching for this.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A playwright, Einhorn manages to keep up the dramatic tension between the intrepid hero and the sneering villain while slipping in bits of fraction-wrangling information along the way. Using a restrained palette, cartoonist Clark boosts the story’s comedy and its drama with his exaggerated portrayals of the characters and their actions. An appended page tells and shows how to reduce a fraction, an idea that even non-collectors may find useful. This amusing book could help lessen the all-too-common fear of fractions.”

“When the coveted 5/9 fraction is stolen from auction by the mysterious Dr. Brok, it is up to George Cornelius Factor to find the missing fraction and return it to its proper place . . . Although the mathematical procedure for simplifying fractions is provided in the illustrations, younger readers may need the assistance of an adult to fully grasp the concept. A closing ‘Reducing Fractions’ page includes step-by-step instructions for finding both the greatest and lowest common denominators to properly reduce fractions. A fun mathematical addition to library collections.”
School Library Journal
Edward Einhorn is the author of A Very Improbable Story: A Math Adventure, as well as two Wizard of Oz sequels, The Living House of Oz and Paradox in Oz (Hungry Tiger Press, 2005 and 1999, respectively). Edward lives in New York City.