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Secrets, Lies, and Algebra (Do The Math #1)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  850 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews

Tess loves math because it's the one subject she can trust—there's always just one right answer, and it never changes. But then she starts algebra and is introduced to those pesky and mysterious variables, which seem to be everywhere in eighth grade. When even your friends and parents can be variables, how in the world do you find out the right answers to the really import

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Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Greenwillow Books (first published June 26th 2007)
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Philip Blake
Wendy Lichtman’s Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra depicts an 8th grade student named Tess. Tess has always relied on her mother, math, and her two best friends, but as she enters the eighth grade, she begins to question their trust. Tess views the world through math and constantly relates everyday situations to mathematical concepts, however, as she works through her algebra class, she finds that solutions can change and sometimes they do not exist. School has become complicated as well. ...more
Sadia
Okay, first things first. Tess is annoying.
Second things second, this is not for kids, even though it feels like it is. I mean, come on, there's a suicide involved. Well, unless the child can handle it, they can read it. They'll enjoy it more than middle schoolers, I think.



Secrets, Lies, and Algebra is about this girl named Tess who pretty much thinks about math all the time. Then, she hears that her mom's friend Rob's wife died in a car from carbon monoxide poisoning, and the police say it wa
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zoe
Secrets, Lies, and Algebra is about a girl in the 8th grade that is going through many different situations and conflicts in her life. She learns different ways to solve these problems, especially through math.
The question that came up a lot and that I can easily answer is, “what helps you empathize with your character(s)?” I am able to empathize with Tess because, being a female middle school student, I deal with many similar conflicts. I can connect with her feelings about these situations.
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Julia G
Feb 05, 2013 Julia G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By: Wendy Lichtman
183 pages
Realistic Fiction

This book is a bout a girl named Tess in the eighth grade. She is an only child who lives with her mom and dad. At school, all she worries about is math. She gets more stressed out about it than anything else. Mr. Richard, another teacher always comes in her classroom to copy some papers when Tess's teacher is in the room. He never really tells Tess why he doesn't use his copy machine and why he wont tell her what he is printing. Secrets? Lies? Thats a
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Grizzly Bear
Aug 22, 2012 Grizzly Bear rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
Recommended to Grizzly by: No one.
NO.

Tess, the main character of this book is seriously an unlikable character. She associates many things with math and takes it serious enough to the point of where she tends to correct her parents, her teacher, and anyone who makes a mathematical mistake.

Secrets, Lies, and Algebra

Tess.
Possible murder.
Math.

Don't be fooled by the decent length, math elements, or book cover. This book may seem like it's suitable for a younger person, but it isn't. Death/Suicide/Murder is something that kids(Ages
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Marilyn
Jun 14, 2012 Marilyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a quick, fun read---and an interesting twist on middle-school realistic fiction. The protagonist is an eighth-grade math geek who applies math principles to friendships, school issues, ethical problems, family relationships. Generally, it rang true---quirky, but not over-the-top cute. I can't decide what I think about the suicide?/murder? plot. It does seem pretty dark for a book about middle schoolers, but then that's the age when kids tend to encounter real grown-up issues and ha ...more
Blythe
Jul 04, 2015 Blythe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought that this book was very dull and superficial. Tess is obsessed with Richard, and then she talks about how she only looks good and is an "8" if her hair is okay and her outfit looks nice. I find that senseless, and we shouldn't have to read this kind of literature. I found all of the characters to be uninteresting; just like the book. Overall, I did not like Secrets, Lies, and Algebra by Wendy Litchman at all.
Robyn
Oct 05, 2011 Robyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good but there were to many math parts. I like math but sometimes I don't know what some of those are. Other then that it was a good book. The book is about an eighth grader called Tess and she is stuck telling her teacher that the most popular guy in school. In the end she does and now the boy is calling her names and being mean to her.
Jessicalyn
Aug 25, 2016 Jessicalyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book because it shows how a girl uses math problems to solve solutions in real life. I don't hate anything about this book. I really recommend this book a lot so I hope you guys could read this book because it actually could help you with your situations yes that's all so read this book<3=).
Marylei
Dec 01, 2016 Marylei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about Tess in the 8th grade that is going through man different situations and conflicts in her life. She is an only child who lives with her parents. Tess is obsessed with Thomas. All she worries about is Math. She learns different ways to solve these problems, especially math. It was a good book but it has to many math parts.
Leila Amos
Mar 11, 2015 Leila Amos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this book because it is almost like an advice book even though you don't know it in the beginning.
Kimkevin
Jul 04, 2013 Kimkevin is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Look at my profile picture and the title of this book
Fiona Burgos
"Secret, Lies, and Algebra" by Wendy Lichtman is not a very good book. Tess is an 8th grader who has an odd obsession with math. In the beginning of the story, she hears that her mom's friend's wife committed suicide. Suicide/murder isn't something pleasant, and I find it irregular that suicide/murder would be one of the topics focused in this story. Tess' mom thinks Robert, the mom's friend, might've murdered his wife, and Tess feels the idea should be reported to the police. Tess also was tol ...more
Maesa Waheed
Feb 20, 2015 Maesa Waheed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Friday, 20, 2015

Tess has a lot of emotions that make her do forbidden things. As her crush Richard comes to the copy room she lets him copy a document. It is normally forbidden to let other students copy a document without the teachers permission. She sees what he copies and remarks that it is the test they will pass. "Richard had obviously stolen the test of Mr. wright's desk and was making a copy so he could put the original one back and not get caught" (Lichtman 4). Sometimes the emotions mak
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Hailey
Oct 13, 2016 Hailey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-these-books
I think was actually a decent book. I liked how it was mostly about math and that I understood most of the concepts. And it made me even more excited about negative exponents! It also gave me the idea to give people code names like that too! Overall, I did think it was a good book.
Abigail Cimato
Sep 27, 2016 Abigail Cimato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra by Wendy Lichtman successfully works to relate secondary mathematics to real-life situations. Relatability remains an issue that many math classrooms tackle today, but this book does so in a charming manner. This book follows the story of an eighth grade student, Tess, as she discovers how everything she’s learning in Algebra relates to aspects of her life. She has two best friends, Sammy and Miranda, who she describes the readers using exponents ...more
Lauren Esselburn
Oct 02, 2015 Lauren Esselburn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra has more than a few secrets of its own. Wendy Lichtman does the tasking job of incorporating both literature and math into a novel that takes mathematical concepts beyond the realm of the classroom. Through the life of Tess, we find many natural conflicts of an 8th grade girl as well as some unexpected points of pure suspicion. Throughout the novel, we find Tess, an 8th grade girl who is just trying to make it through middle school, use her love of math to ...more
Tanita S.
Nov 30, 2007 Tanita S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Long Division, Multiplication, Fractions and Complications

Fibonacci, fractal, and tessellation—they all serve to fascinate and bewilder me with lovely repeating equation patterns. Do the Math: Secrets, Lies & Algebra has fabulous mathematical content as well as a well-paced mystery, excellent dialogue and a realistic character in Tess. Tess is smart and thoughtful and an observer—but the best thing of all is that Tess is a girl, and she doesn't act like math is something she can't understan
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Cat
Dec 12, 2011 Cat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library264

Title: Walk Two Moons
Author: Sharon, Creech
Year: 2008
ISBN:9780061229572
Type: Book
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Length/Pages:208
Publisher/studio:HarperTeen
Annotation: One thing Tess is good at its math but she is having a hard time dealing with friendships, cheating, and death. Her friends don't know how to keep a secret, she saw the cutest guy in school copying a math test, and she can't decide whether or not to tell on him, oh yea and there's that family friend may have murdered his wife.
Ages: 10
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Kalani
Feb 02, 2017 Kalani rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Secret, Lies, and Algebra were kind of okay. So it basically talks about how Tess is in LOVE with math, out of all the subject ALGEBRA was her favorite. I read the whole book but I didn't get the beginning, middle, and end. The only thing that I understand is when Tess had a problem and she always uses math to solve the problem. But overall this book is really bad for me.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Don't panic! You won't be asked to complete any math problems to read this book! Believe me, I checked.

Wendy Lichtman has created a fun mystery involving main character Tess, whose unique view of life has her imagining everything around her as it relates to math. Chapter headings include concepts such as "Graphs," "Tangents," "The Additive Property of Equality," and "DNE" just to name a few.

Although the math concepts add creativi
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Melinda
Tess is having difficulties navigating the troubled waters of eighth grade. Her best friends are spilling her secrets, a cute classmate's cheated on a test and she can't decide whether or not to tell on him, and she believes that a family friend may have murdered his wife. All a girl can depend on is mathematics and, even then, Tess is learning that the answers aren't as simple as she wishes they were. This novel has an interesting premise: mathematical terms and equations can apply to real-life ...more
Ruhama
Sep 03, 2008 Ruhama rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
Tess enjoys math, and even has incorporated it into other parts of her life, besides school. For example, she's assigned a mathematical symbol to each of her best friends, and plots out a couple of graphs to try to puzzle out a recent suicide-possible-homicide dilemma. The death of her mother's friend's wife is one of the mysteries that Tess has to wrestle with--the other is what to do about a classmate (a hot boy, of course) who she knows will be cheating on an upcoming history exam. Throughout ...more
Jennifer
Enjoyable, but flawed in tone, Secrets, Lies, and Algebra swings between a typical school story and a sort-of murder mystery.

Tess has always thought the two things she could count on the most were her mother and math, but 8th grade means Algebra where the answers aren't always firm. Not only that, her mom suspects a colleague of murder and won't tell the police. To top everything off, Tess is the only one who knows that the cutest boy in the 8th grade cheated on the Constitution test. Tess has
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Carey
This is about a math-oriented 8th grade girl who wrestles with reporting cheating on a test and a potential murder. I was interested to read it, because I would love to find stories that reinforce math concepts for my kids. Several math concepts are mentioned throughout the book, such as Venn diagrams, absolute numbers, and equations, but they aren't integral to the story. They are the musings of an 8th grade girl applying math concepts to the people and events around her. Most of the time, for ...more
Ssalamone
Secrets, Lies, and Algebra by Wendy Lichtman is a book of mystery and math. Tess, a middle school girl from a small town, is going through some rough times. Tess just found out that her close friend Nina passed away from suicide or murder. Tess, family, and friends try to figure out what happened to Nina. Tess goes through many different problems along the way as she tries to find out how Nina died.
This book made me think about what will happen next. The dialogue helped me make a connection to
...more
Amber
Dec 06, 2012 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amber Tomihama
12/5/12
183 pages
“Secret, Lies, and Algebra”
By: Wendy Lichtman

Do you like drama then this is the book to read. It all starts off when a girl named Tess comes home and sees her mother talking on the phone to her dad. Soon after her mother is talking on the phone Tess finds out that her mother’s friend Nina had just passed away in her garage. But her mother suspects that her husband Rob could have murdered her. Tess goes to her room to make chart of Nina’s death. Then her friend Sa
...more
Manisha
Tess loves math because it's the one subject she can trust—there's always just one right answer, and it never changes. But then she starts algebra and is introduced to those pesky and mysterious variables, which seem to be everywhere in eighth grade. When even your friends and parents can be variables, how in the world do you find out the right answers to the really important questions, like what to do about a boy you like or whom to tell when someone's done something really bad?

Wendy Lichtman h
...more
Sarah Evans
Oct 29, 2008 Sarah Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: washyarg
Two important things to know about this book. One is that the blurb on the cover and the cover image on the paperback do not do the book justice. It looked like major chick lit with a minor math twist. Second is that it's actually a mystery and the first in a mystery series. The mystery is fairly light and yes, there is friendship issues, but only a few whispers of romance (so what's with the heart on the cover?)

I thoroughly enjoyed being inside Tess' mind, one that is so mathematical, logical,
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April
Jan 25, 2008 April rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had an interesting concept for using algebra terms as chapter titles and then explaining the concept with events that the character is experiencing. I'm not a big fan of algebra and sometimes had a bit of trouble remembering what the heck the term meant, but I thought it was clever nevertheless. The story itself was okay, but it didn't really have a major climax to keep the story exciting. The main character, Tess, has two situations happening around her--a cool guy in her 8th grade cl ...more
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Wendy Lichtman writes personal essays for the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Good Housekeeping, among other national publications. She holds a degree in mathematics and has tutored public-school students in algebra for the past several years. When she decided to write about a teen realizing that some questions have more than one right answer, algebra, with its unknow ...more
More about Wendy Lichtman...

Other Books in the Series

Do The Math (2 books)
  • The Writing on the Wall (Do The Math, #2)

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“Talk about getting off tangent. My mother's friend may have just killed his wife and my parents are sitting there talking about cows.” 10 likes
“He doesn't seem to mind at all that he's stupid about math.” 3 likes
More quotes…