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

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  294 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Eighth grade, like algebra, has become pretty complicated for Tess. For one thing, there are the patterns she's noticing everywhere--like how charming-on-the-outside Richard keeps playing scary pranks on her, and how annoying copycat Lynn always has to follow what everyone else is doing. Then there's the pattern of graffiti that keeps appearing on the wall by her school--c ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Greenwillow Books (first published June 24th 2008)
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Valeria Martinez
Dec 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
this book is about how a girl named Tess has to uncover a code on the wall. this book would be really good for people who like math like the author who wrote this. Some of the problems in the book i didnt understand but i guess i learned something new. this girl gets obsessed with trying to figure out who is writing this stuff on the wall in code word. she gets to into it that she does not really think about what she is doing until the consequences fall on her. at the end when she figures out wh ...more
Suzanne Lilly
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wendy Lichtman's books should be required reading for middle school girls. She has a way of empowering girls with math and logical thinking skills, yet allows them to still become whoever they want. This sequel to SECRETS, LIES, AND ALGEBRA was every bit as good as the first book. Please, Wendy, write another!
Tess Hansen
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
The math is awesome. I really enjoyed watching the world from a mathlete prospective. Giving her friends math symbols to illustrate their personalities was clever. The equations were complicated but interesting and I liked solving the puzzles with Tess. Unfortunately, the plot needed a lot of work. Her friends either knew too much or too little. There didn't seem a real reason for the grandfather to even be a part of the story and her crush was complanate at best. She got in trouble in the end f ...more
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
*****Spoiler Alert*****
Why did Tess write on the wall?Tess wrote on the wall because she wants to know who keeps writing on the wall with math symbols.My favorite part was when Damien asked Tess if she wanted to hang out. The genre of the book is realistic fiction,the author is really creative because he describes Tess about what she is like and about her and that's really creative. I really liked this book because it's mysterious and I really like mystery books.

The setting of this story is duri
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Tess isn’t really looking forward to her second semester of 8th grade. After making enemies last semester with Richard, Tess knows that life won’t be enjoyable. Her suspicions are confirmed when she finds that Richard tore entries out of her journal, stole her backpack and even squirted cranberry juice on her sweatshirt. The only things Tess can look forward to each day is hanging out with her friends and going to Algebra, her favorite class of the day. On the way to school one day Tess notices ...more
Apr 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Tess is just your average math loving eighth-grader until she becomes a little too interested in some graffiti at her school. Tess’s friend Sammy convinces her that the blue numbers form a sort of code, and Tess becomes determined to crack it. Unfortunately, this requires a lot of lying and some vandalizing on Tess’s part. But Tess is only concerned with finding out the message and doesn’t think about the consequences.

I found it interesting how Tess compared people and life to various math probl
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Tess, lover of everything math, is back for another adventure in DO THE MATH: THE WRITING ON THE WALL. Things pick up right where they left off in DO THE MATH: SECRETS, LIES, AND ALGEBRA. Richard still considers Tess a snitch and is treating her badly, and Tess is still fascinated with math and solving mysteries.

This time Tess is determined to solve the mystery of who started the fire in Mr. Z's computer classroom. Even though every
Feb 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
I hate to admit how much I liked this book. It is probably a 4+...or 5. It is permeated with math, which is why I gave it 4 stars. (I don't like math. I either have a math phobia or I am simply not smart enough. I know that I am offending many of my friends and relatives with this admission. Gladys told me once she loves math because there is only one right answer...which, coincedentally, is the exact reason why I don't like math. I spent an entire year of Algebra staring out the window and wat ...more
Madison Beauchamp
Oct 07, 2014 is currently reading it
The book I read for the month of October was “The Writing On The Wall.” I thought it was actually a great book, I got really into it. It didn’t confused me like the last book I read. It is about this girl, her name is Tess. She’s really good at math and when I mean really good, I mean really really good. She’s on the mathematics team and the school newspaper committee. Her two friends are Miranda and Sammy. She is enemies with this guy named Richard, he does terrible things to Tess for revenge. ...more
I found this book while trying to find a good math novel. I was really hoping to find one more for a highschool reading level, but this one sounded good. This book is at a middle school reading level and it is about a 8th grade girl, her obsession with math and how that effects her daily life. It is a really cute book and was a really easy read. I could see this book being used in a middle school classroom, the only problem is that it is geared more toward girl readers then boys. I would probaba ...more
Nya Knox
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Writing On The Wall
Wendy Lichtman

Tess isn't really looking forward to her second semester of 8th grade. After making enemies last semester with Richard, Tess knows that life at school will be kind of hard.. she knows when she finds that Richard tore pages out of her journal, stole her backpack and even squirted cranberry juice on her sweatshirt. The only things Tess can look forward to each day is hanging out with her friends and going to math class , her favorite class of the day. On the
8th grade math whiz Tess can't resist a puzzle--which is why the "Four 4s" graffiti on the back of the church intrigues her so much. First solving the equations and then cracking the code, Tess gets drawn into investigating a classroom fire that had occurred a few weeks earlier. But her investigations lead her into some shady doings herself, resulting in a number of consequences her number-based brain never anticipated.

This is the sequel to an earlier book I haven't read, but it give a little ba
Jul 29, 2008 rated it liked it
This is better than the first Do the Math book because the action focused all around school rather than being split. After returning from winter break, Tess has adjusted to algebra, but there's a new mystery - someone is leaving graffiti messages on a wall near the school and only Tess can understand them. Who is trying to reach Tess and what are they trying to tell her? Tess is an interesting character because she frequently doesn't do the right thing, but the choices she makes are easy to unde ...more
Marcella Casetta
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Writing On The Wall

The writing on the wall is a really good book about a girl named Tess. Tess and her two friends ( Miranda and Sammy ) discover some 4’s on a church wall. Tess discovers that the 4’s are from the 4 4’s problem. The 4 4’s problem is a math problem where you have to get the answers 1-100 using exactly 4 4’s. Tess makes the decision to write on the wall with paint sticks. She writes in code to try to figure out who is writing on the wall. Tess gets into a conversation with th
Elison Daher
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was really good i really enjoyed it, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoy reading normal books about normal people. This book, The Writing on the Wall by Wendy Lichtman,is about a girl named Tess who is in 8th grade and she has had enough. There is a kid named Richard who is always playing tricks on her and there's an annoying kid Lynn who is always copycatting Tess and she is through with it. She is liked by a boy named Damien and she thinks he is okay, And there is always ...more
May 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle school students
I really enjoyed this one. The conversations and the issues were very authentic and I loved the way the author wrote because it felt like she really was a middle school student. The character development was solid and I liked that even thought this was only 216 pages long and it was a sequel to a book I hadn't even read, I actually got to know all of the characters. I liked Tess's voice and unique personality, including her love of math. I love the way the math stuff naturally became a part of t ...more
Jan 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this as I was shelving books at the library, and thought I'd read it to see if my math-loving grandson would like it. It's aimed at an age group perhaps a couple years beyond him, and the main character is a girl named Tess. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed reading it in an afternoon. Tess is not only on the math team at her junior high (a number of problems from her classwork and competition are illustrated), but she also tends to analyze her relationships and her activities using m ...more
Abby Johnson
Nov 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Tess is an 8th grade math whiz and loves figuring things out. When someone tags a wall near her school with a math code, Tess can't rest until she's cracked it, but what she finds leads her to investigate a case of arson that's occurred at her school.

The math puzzles were pretty neat and I can see this book appealing to kids who like to play around with numbers. There's not a great deal of character development and the kids seemed way younger than 8th graders to me. I never felt like I got to kn
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In this exciting sequel Tess has new challenges that she has to face. One them includes what the graffiti on the church wall means. Another is how Richard-oh-so-charming is threatening her trying to get her to snitch to show her “real” identity. Tess wants answers to the writing on the wall, the answer on how to deal with Richard. In order to get her answers she uses what she’s knows and learns about the personalities of her peers and what she knows about math.
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
My favorite book I read was, The Writing on the Wall. The book is about a girl named Tess and she loves math, and she reminds me of me also because I also love math. And so in her neighborhood someone has been writing number patterns on the church wall, and then she spot a pattern in the numbers and tries to decode it. She even wrote on the wall to respond to the message, and she also suspects on different people that she thinks who did it.
Emily Dean
Response: This book wasn't the best book i've read yet but it was okay. The book was a little too confusing and did a poor job of telling the story and sticking to the main problem. The author added more and more problems to the story to create more surprising parts in thes story. Since the author added so much problems to the story i couldn't focus on the main problem in the novel.
Thi N.
Apr 11, 2010 rated it liked it
The book, was cool how they used the four fours.
IM in the eighth grade, and doesnt understand, the four fours.
Surprised, people doo...
Anyways, Wendy Lichtman sure did a good job putting herself into the girls shoes.
And, the problems (fire, arson) happened at my school, too! When I was in the sixth grade... it was lunch for me than...
Anyways... I liked it.
Nov 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
A series about a girl obsessed with math - now I've seen everything! I probably would not have started this but it was in my office and I didn't want to get stranded on the bus without a book...

One of the flaws about this book is that it isn't exciting enough for modern 8th graders. I will try it on a 4th grader.
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it
This book is about a Tess who has a problem because someone is writing on a church wall in a math problem and she has to figure out the problem and when she does she has to write on the wall which is illegal but she does it anyway. She gets caught and is suspended while she s she has time to think about what she did and she figures it out. Who is it well you'll have to read the book to find out!
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Although this book was better than the first, I'm still disappointed. The characters are one dimensional and pretty predictable. Also, I noticed that all the adults are negatively portrayed. And I felt the math concepts used in this book were an even bigger stretch than the ones used in the previous novel. As a female mathematician, I really hoped for more out of this book!
Aleyna Sarap
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It was one of the few mystery books I have read and I loved it when I have read it in back in 8th grade. I recommend it to all young readers, mostly girls though who like math. This book is quite very enjoyable! :)
Aug 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Valerie by: UCSC
I read this book for my UCSC math fiction book club. ( I do so have a life!!) I really enjoyed the use of systems of equations to make a point in the story. I plan on offerring extra credit to my Algebra 1 students who read this book.
Feb 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: math, ya
Another great book from Lichtman. The math metaphors continue...there's puzzles & codes this time. It picks up just about where the last one ended, but with a completely different mystery. Great, satisfying read. Lichtman describes middle school and its inhabitants very realistically.
May 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
this book is awesome , i recommend that people who love math should read this because this book is like life connecting to life and how it can cause death , especially codes, breaking a code can be fun , but also dangerous. in this book the main character goes through all that.
syazana kamsari
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
awesome book!this book has out of this world math!this girl named Tess realized math codes on the wall that were meant for her. she then tries to solve codes and even with no answers she still goes on. until she was too compelled to the numbers and got in to trouble,illegal trouble.
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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)
  • Secrets, Lies, and Algebra (Do The Math, #1)
“[Graffiti] gets erased and painted over, and maybe it's even more beautiful because we know it won't last.” 3 likes
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