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# The Unknowns: A Math Mystery

In a trailer park called Adjacent, next to the Folsom Energy Plant, people have started to vanish, and no one seems to care. At first Lady Di and her best friend, Tom Jones, barely notice the disappearances—until their beloved math tutor, Mrs. Clarke, is abducted, too. Mrs. Clarke has left them clues in the form of math equations that lead them all over the trailer park, t...more

Hardcover, 272 pages

Published
April 1st 2009
by Amulet Books

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It takes place on an island that contains Folsom Energy Plant and the Adjacent Trailer Park. Carey does a superb job evoking this place --- the trash, the kind-but-somewhat-down-and-out inhabitants, the ways of trailer park living. As Deborah Stevenson note...more

**The summary of**

__The Unknowns__immediately drew me in...it sounded like a story-line! And I really liked it, but it seems so*average*compared to other dystopias. There were definitely some flaws in the writing, but overall, I really enjoyed it.The plot was original (for a dystopia...) and it moved surprisingly quickly. I enjoyed the narration and enjoyed the way the author incorporated readers

*into*the story.

The mystery element was something I really enjoyed about

*The Unknowns.*This helped the plo...more

1. The characters were completely not relatable. Apparently, at the beginning, they don't even know who Pythagoras was. At the end, they're solving problems left and right and even...more

I really enjoyed this book but I have to admit when I first picked it up I was a little unsure. I thought it may have a little too much math. But it completely surprised me that it was a mystery and that the math was fun and not a big deal. This book is about two kids (my age) who live in a trailer park on a small island called Adjacent...more

Jul 21, 2009
Claire
rated it
3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for:
9 and up, family and classroom read aloud

A clever mystery-adventure. Set in Folsom Adjacent- the site of a nuclear reactor adjacent to Crotona inhabited by generations of plant workers the story reminds me of Chasing Vermeer meets My 100 Adventures.

Lady Di (read the book if you want to know how a pudgy, 11 year-old red head got that name) and Tom Jones are sweating out the summer before they enter the dreaded Middle School in Crotona where kids like them are routinely eaten for lunch. What they wish for is a diversion, a disaster to t...more

Lady Di (read the book if you want to know how a pudgy, 11 year-old red head got that name) and Tom Jones are sweating out the summer before they enter the dreaded Middle School in Crotona where kids like them are routinely eaten for lunch. What they wish for is a diversion, a disaster to t...more

I picked up this book because Sornnujah recommended it to me, and I wanted to read a mystery novel.

I finshed this book becau...more

I do like the meta-mathematical lessons of the book --- given the ill-defined problems, there is a strong focus on experimentation and re...more

Interesting that her best friend read the other edition, titled simply "The Unkowns" for a book report and it was on my To Read list. Somehow I had a wrong edition in Good Reads (the ebook version, no idea how nor why it is not connected to these hard copy versions) and didn't realize they were the same book. Fun to read it after so many recommendations!!

Read...more

Clever weaving of mathematical concepts into a mysterious tale of secret plans, missing persons, and the adventures of two would-be-heroes and their unlikely partners.

Though the writing was lacking in places (it's

*dessert*, not

*desert*when it's ice cream!), it tells a good tale and has some subtle references to some of mathematics' great minds. Overall a decent read with accessible math for middle schoolers (coordinate pl...more

Aug 26, 2009
Marilyn
rated it
3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for:
5th - 7th grade

Shelves:
mystery,
realistic-fiction

This is one of those books like The Westing Game or Chasing Vermeer that teachers, in particular math teachers, will want their students to read. It was a fun mystery and the math problems the two main protagonists had to figure out were woven into the story well. The storyline itself strained the bounds of believability, but was interesting enough that I think kids will enjoy it.

I really enjoyed the quirky characters. It reminded me a little of "Holes" in that way. And the voice was terrific.

Overall a terrific read, especially for someone who enjoys math(or wishes they did).

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