Reviews for 7 X 9 = Trouble!


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 April 2002
Gr. 2-4. The best thing about third grade for Wilson is the class pet, Squiggles the hamster. Next come art and his friend Josh. The worst thing is math, especially the multiplication tables. Wilson struggles to pass all 12 times tables by his teacher's deadline so he won't be the last to earn the promised ice cream cone, but even his kindergarten brother is better at math than he is! His parents help by timing his practice tests; the smart girl in class helps by showing him a finger formula for the 9s; even caring for Squiggles over a weekend helps. Then, on the last day, with Wilson still having to conquer the 12s, Squiggles turns up missing. All ends well with the bad "times" turning into good times, adding up to a satisfying, engaging story that captures children's feelings, frustrations, and dialogue. Kids will have no trouble figuring that this is a winner, especially if they are or have been math-challenged. ((Reviewed April 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Fall
Third-grader Wilson is facing one of the hurdles of childhood: learning his times tables. Unlike math-whiz classmate Laura, who is up to her nines, or best friend Josh, who has mastered the fives, Wilson is doubtful about his chances of passing all twelve times-table tests before the deadline. Writing for the first time for early chapter book readers, Mills infuses her story with drama, tension, and humanity. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2002 #2
Third-grader Wilson is facing one of the true hurdles of childhood: learning his times tables. Unlike math-whiz classmate Laura, who is already up to her nines, or best friend Josh, who has mastered the fives, Wilson is stumped by the threes and doubtful about his chances of passing all twelve times-table tests before the deadline. Mills infuses her story of Wilson's journey through multiplication with drama, tension, and humanity (and even includes a helpful little math trick I wish I had known about in third grade). A subplot involving a lost hamster adds even more kid appeal. Mills has an unerring gift for identifying childhood challenges (the "mountain range" of a difficult concept to be learned; the necessity of accommodating younger siblings) and joys (the many creative uses of a stopwatch; a hamster of one's own). Writing for the first time for early chapter book readers, Mills (Gus and Grandpa at Basketball, rev. 11/01; Standing Up to Mr. O., rev. 9/98) passes the test, with flying colors. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2002 March #1
Wilson would be having a wonderful time in third grade if he could learn his multiplication tables. But there they are-mocking him with their inexplicable patterns and never-ending challenges. He even has to take a note home to his parents asking for help, and now everyone is in on the act. Seems to Wilson that everyone can learn the tables except for him: Laura Vicks, the class brain, Josh Hernandez, his best friend, and even his little kindergartner brother is better with numbers than Wilson is. There is much to like in this tale for new readers. The sensible and helpful parents comfort Wilson when the timed tests prove daunting, never threatening or humiliating him because he struggles. His teacher Mrs. Porter is supportive of him, gently nudging him to try, try again. Even the other children in the class are patient and encouraging when Wilson is the final third grader to attempt the twelves tables. Someone has to be last to get his the reward of the ice cream cone and everyone is pulling for Wilson. The dialogue is realistic but not predictable, and the situations are pure third grade with subplots about a class hamster, a best friend who makes up droll rhymes, and an adoring little brother who gets in the way sometimes. Mills (Gus and Grandpa at Basketball, 2001, etc.) gets the serious parts just right, too. Wilson is truly worried about the multiplication tables. Wilson and little brother Kipper really do want a pet. Wilson's parents truly want to help Wilson, but are willing to let him take responsibility for his own challenges. With its short chapters, familiar story line, and Karas's (Muncha, Muncha, Muncha, 2002, etc.) warm, light-touch illustrations, this adds up to an excellent selection for the new chapter book reader. (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 April
Gr 2-3-Students who are having difficulty with math will enjoy this lighthearted story. Third-grader Wilson Williams needs to pass all the times-table tests by March 16th in order to get an ice-cream cone from his teacher. While the child is talented in art, he is envious of his friends Laura and Josh, who have completed their tests and have received their cones. He is also envious of his younger brother Kipper, a kindergartner who is placed in a special math group because he has started learning the times tables on his own. While the main theme revolves around Wilson passing the tests, an important subplot deals with his desire for a pet and taking home the class hamster for a weekend. All's well in the end-Wilson passes the 12 times table at the last minute, and he and Kipper will be getting a pet hamster. While this chapter book is entertaining and no doubt many youngsters will relate to the story, it is unfortunate that the author reinforces negative feelings about studying math. Wilson never seems to comprehend the concept of multiplication, and no one makes an effort to teach him.-Marilyn Ackerman, Brooklyn Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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