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Great Illustrated Books

Fractions = Trouble!

By Claudia Mills

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 2011
Pages : 128
Suggested Ages: 7-10
ISBN: 9780374367169

Numerator, denominator – What is that teacher talking about?  Wilson has no idea and would much rather be drawing pictures of Pip his pet hamster or thinking about his project for the science fair coming up in three weeks.  Yikes! That’s the same day as the big math test.

In this sequel to 7 x 9 = Trouble, the problem is fractions.  And they equal BIG TROUBLE for Wilson.  Looks like he’ll have to go to a tutor, and the only thing worse than that would be everyone knowing about it.  So there is no way he is going to tell even best friend Josh why he is too busy on Saturday mornings to work on the science fair.

Suddenly Wilson’s life is full of hamsters – learning fractions with the tutor seems to involve drawing lots and lots of them.  What’s more, Pip could be a great science project if only he would learn to shake or roll over.  Teaching a hamster tricks turns out to be as difficult as Josh’s project – making pickles explode – or keeping a secret from your best friend. 

However, as a science fair judge tells Wilson: “Sometimes we learn more from failure than we do from success”.  An encouraging author’s note at the end of the book reinforces this with Ms. Mills’ confession she, too, was bad at math and fractions and had a tutor as well.  Parents and teachers will welcome these positive messages tucked into this fun-to-read, well illustrated chapter book.

Reviewed by : JS

Themes : BEST FRIENDS. MATHEMATICS. SCHOOLS & SCHOOL STORIES. PETS.

If you love this book, then try:

Sachar, Louis. Sideways Stories from Wayside School. HarperCollins, 1998.


Blume, Judy. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Puffin, 2007.


Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Abrams, Books for Young Readers, 2007.

Critics have said

"Short chapters and several full-page illustrations make this title perfect for new chapter-book readers."
School Library Journal