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Night of the Paranormal Patterns
Mathematical Nights, Volume I
Class sets 10 or more print books: $7.00 each
Order code: 4823S
When seventh grader Lennie Miller moves to a new town, she’s convinced that life is unfair. But it’s not long before she learns that the town is located on the edge of the Mystical Realm, and Lennie has a gift for seeing the otherworldly creatures that cross over from that world to ours. What’s more, those creatures come to her to solve their math problems. And they certainly have some unusual problems!
When seventh grader Lennie Miller moves to the tiny town of Bailey, Indiana, she’s convinced that life is both boring and unfair. What could possibly be interesting about a place in the middle of nowhere? But it’s not long before she learns that Bailey isn’t at all what she expected. It is located on the edge of the Mystical Realm, and Lennie has a gift for seeing the otherworldly creatures that cross over from that world to ours. What’s more, Lennie learns that those creatures consider her a “Pattern Finder,” which means that they come to her to solve their math problems. And they certainly have some unusual problems!
Soon Lennie and her new best friend Gil are calculating who would win a race between a vampire and a werewolf, how fast gremlins reproduce, how many different ways wizards can switch bodies with one another, and how much cargo aliens can take with them on their ship. Maybe Bailey is a little too interesting. But just as it looks like she’ll be a Pattern Finder for life, Lennie discovers a potential way out. Can she find the magical veil her ancestor stole and go back to being a normal kid again?
Author Robert Black mixes his narrative with a series of pre-algebra-level math puzzles in what he calls “mathematical fiction.” He says:
“I wanted to use storytelling as a way of communicating math concepts. Just as a good historical novel can introduce readers to different times and places, I’m introducing readers to ways of looking at the world through numbers. When Lennie and Gil try to solve a math problem, readers are right there with them. Math can be a collaborative experience. There are many different ways to look at a problem, and it helps if you can talk with someone and trade ideas to see which way is best. There’s a lot of trial and error involved, too. It’s okay to try an approach and discover that it doesn’t work. Lennie and Gil go through all of that. They make mistakes. They go down blind alleys and have to try again. And readers get to share in that experience.”
Night of the Paranormal Patterns is also available as a series of dyslexia-friendly books, called the Lennie Miller Dyslexia Series, that incorporates several special features to make it accessible to children with reading difficulties. (See below.)
“Night of the Paranormal Patterns is not only a rousing fantasy adventure; it also encourages young people to look at solving math problems in a new way, as each conundrum originates organically from the monsters’ daily lives. Highly recommended, especially for public and school library YA collections.” – Children’s Bookwatch